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2006-04-26

Ubuntu Install

A few weeks ago, Mathieu, a friend of mine from work, gave me a "original" Ubuntu CDs and I promised myself to dump my Fedora Core 4 & test Ubuntu instead. Unfortunately, I was very busy and I even forgot where I put the CD.

INSTALLATION BLUES
Finally, last week, I downloaded Ubuntu Breezy Badger 5.10 (meaning 2005 / October release). Unfortunately, installation did not finish. I kept on getting installation failures about some "initrd-tools".

As I see it, it is good that things do not work and it gives me a chance to do some research and learn while trying to fix it... Some people in Ubuntuforums suggested that they burnt their CD images with lower speeds and it worked but that did not sound right to me. Plus, it did not work for some other people. Yet, they might have a point...

So, I found the CDs Mathieu had given to me and tried to install it on the PCs. It worked like a charm on both. Setup was a breeze :)

To be able to use Synaptic Package Manager to get updates, I had to enter my proxy into Settings > Preferences > Network.

UPGRADING TO DAPPER DRAKE 6.06
Then, I decided to update my Ubuntu to the latest test version: Dapper Drake 6.06 (it will be released in June). The problem I usually faced with Fedora was that if I wanted to upgrade, let's say, from Core 3 to Core 4, cleanest way was to dump the previous version and install the new version from scratch.

As Ubuntu is based on Debian Technology, it does a much better job in handling such issues. Unfortunately my first attempt was unsuccesful.



Then, I wanted to see how the latest Beta was and as someone suggested edited my sources.list file which is like yum repositories of Fedora in Ubuntu World:

sudo sed -i -e "s/breezy/dapper/" /etc/apt/sources.list

Then ran the following commands
  • sudo apt-get update
  • sudo apt-get dist-upgrade

I did not pay attention to any messages and just rebooted when finished and all hell broke loose. X-Server would just not start! I googled to see if anyone else had the same issue and sure enough many people had seen similar issues. Unfortunately, none of the fixes suggested worked:
  • sudo dpkg-reconfigure xserver-xorg
After spending a few hours and trying every trick I could find, I gave up & reinstalled Breezey Badger from scratch.

I mentioned my experience to Mathieu, and we tried it together on my pc at work. We first needed to enable proxy by entering the following in a terminal window:
export http_proxy=http://proxyext.ourserver.com:8080

I actually used my old entry in this blog about configuring yum to make the change permenant :)

Then we manually edited /etc/apt/sources.list and replaced "breezy" with "dapper".

Then we ran:
  • sudo apt-get update
and we realized that we had missed one entry in the sources.list that was pointing to Breezy Badger 5.10 CD. After removing it, things worked out smoothly. Then, we ran the dist-upgrade:
  • sudo apt-get dist-upgrade
Upgrade took about 30mins. Once it was finished, I noticed the changes on the screen. New icons are amazingly cute and bright. I loved the new interface!

CONNECTING TO NTFS
The very first thing I wanted to do after I got the new OS was to access my mp3s on my Windows 2003 R2 server. This was surprisingly easy:

Clicked to Places > Connect to Server and just entered the hostname, sharename, username and password. In fact, I noticed that the shortcut that automatically got created on the desktop was still available after reboot, I just needed to enter my password to the key-ring.

CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW?
So, now that I had access to my mp3s, I wanted to play them. As I knew from Fedora, there are licensing issues and official release does not have the necessary codecs etc.

How-to docs were readily available in Ubuntu Wiki > Multimedia section.
By enabling the multiverse and universe repositories and installing the gstreamer0.8-mad packages:
sudo apt-get install gstreamer0.10-plugins-ugly (for Dapper Draker 6.06 only)
I was supposed to be done. As expected, when I clicked on mp3s, Totem Launched without complaining but I heard no sound.

I ran lspci to check if system detected my sound card and it showed
0000:05:0e.0 Multimedia audio controller: Creative Labs SB Audigy LS
This reminded me of my "No Sound on Fedora Core 3" entry last year :) I was then able to solve that problem using alsamixer. When I googled for ubuntu sound problems, I saw that some people had solved that problems via alsamixer too.

So, I launched it and started to play with it. I found out that I had to increase the volume level for "Analog Front" channel.

All issues behind, I am quite happy right now. The next is to play DivX, DVD etc. I need to find something like PowerDVD in linux...
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