Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Ubuntu and how I've come to almost love it

Don't get me wrong, my little server will still be running PCLinuxOS as this is incredibly stable, easy to setup and uses very little resources.
What it doesn't do is run Evolution properly at the moment, the 64bit version doesn't run Wine (I need this for a few things) and there are one or two other little issues but for a person who just wants a normal desktop, go for PCLinuxOS every time as generally it just works.

And now for Ubuntu 12.04, I won't go through the installation process as it is quite simple and if you can't manage to follow the on screen instructions then you shouldn't be doing any the things I'm about to talk about.

Most people recommend that you use a separate home partition when installing Linux, I've done this before and run out of space somewhere so I generally used the whole drive. But this time I've done something different.

You see my desktop has a 1TB hard drive, so I've given half of it to the OS and mounted it at "/". The other half of the drive is mounted at "/mnt/homeback" and I'll tell you why later.

Once the installation is completed, the first thing to do is update it, it's surprising how many little issues this resolves.

So hit Alt+F2 on the keyboard and type xterm into the box and you should then be able to open up a terminal session so you can get things done a bit quicker, in PCLinuxOS this is all done in a GUI.

In the terminal window, type in:

sudo apt-get update

and then press enter, enter your password and off it goes fetching a list of updates
Once it's done, type:

sudo apt-get upgrade

Press enter, put your password in if it asks you and let it get on with things.

Once this has completed, reboot the computer before carrying on with the next steps.

You may like Unity which is the default desktop on Ubuntu, I've tried desperately to like it and get used to it but I can't. So I'm going to install Gnome Classic which suits me better.

Lets hit ALT+F2 again, type in xterm and let's get a terminal session open. Then type in the following line:

sudo apt-get install gnome-shell

Press enter, do the password bit and so on and let it get on with things.

Once it's finished it's time for a reboot again, but this time when we get back to the login screen, there's something different to do.

If you clock on the little circle thing just above the password you should be able to select a different desktop.

I'm going for Gnome Classic, there's no fancy frills in this option and it's a but faster.

And that's it, you're back into that old familiar Gnome desktop, now we can get on with some more bits and pieces