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5.02.2008

Linux - adventures in Ubuntu

I've been playing with Linux again. A few months back I was running my laptop on a dual boot setup with XP Pro and OpenSuSE. I tried Ubuntu back on the Feisty Fawn release. I was never quite happy with Ubuntu because the built in ATI drivers wouldn't let the Mobility 9000 in my laptop run at the full resolution of my display. I tried various config file settings and command line fixes, but I couldn't get it running. OpenSuse seemed to work out of the box. I eventually got bored with it though and used Acronis' partitioning software to
delete the Linux partition and resize my Windows partition back to the full size of the drive.

One of my coworkers recommended the newer versions of Ubuntu so I gave Hardy Heron a try. Install was very easy. You can now import your XP user accounts, bookmarks, and files. The optional Wubi installer lets you install and uninstall inside Windows using a virtual disk file
instead of partitioning. Heron recognizes my video chipset using the open source ATI driver, but I did have some problems with windows tearing when dragged around the screen. I can install and run Compiz with reasonable settings. I did a similar install on my desktop machine and it was very impressive. Compiz looks great on my GeForce 8600gts and the whole system is super fast and responsive. If I can get WINE up and running with my limited Linux skills, I'll be very
happy. I don't think I could ditch Vista due to my games and the media center features, but I wouldn't be hesitate to put Ubuntu on a Internet / home office / homework computer for someone to save them some cash.

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