Kubuntu – Lucid Lynx (10.04.1)
It was time to buy a new computer. My old no-name white box wasn’t able to keep up with all the demands of web development. I like to keep a number of programs open three browsers, a virtual box loaded with XP, email, ftp, and eclipse are the minimum. Also, there are Apache, ssh and mySQL servers running in the background. Not a particularly heavy load but it was starting to bog down my old system.
The new system is an Acer Aspire – i5 650, 6G RAM, and 1.5T off disk space. Like most new systems it came with Windows 7 preloaded, as in no install disks. I wasn’t going to use Windows 7, but I didn’t want to ‘blow it away’, so I decided to repartition the disk.
Windows 7 comes with a nice utility to ‘shrink’ the partition. Unfortunately, it wouldn’t let me ‘shrink’ the partition below approximately 700G bytes. No problem. Linux can read the Window’s NFS partition, so I can still use it.
I like Kubuntu over Ubuntu. Just a matter of taste – I have been using the KDE interface for more years than I can remember. There are times when I need a Gnome application, but, for the most part, they will display nicely in KDE.
Installing Kubuntu just keeps getting easier. I chose to let it install everything in one partition rather than customize the partitions. The down side is the ‘home’ doesn’t have its own partition. This can be disaster if you have root access and clumsy fingers. And, I have both.
Getting Root Access
Maintaining the servers can be a pain using sudo, so I like to have a terminal with root access. Unfortunately, Kubuntu has ‘root’ blocked ‘out of the box’. The solution is simple. In a terminal enter ‘sudo passwd root’. You will be prompted for your password to run the application the asked to enter the new root password.
Root access lets you install packages using the ‘apt-get install’ command. This can be very useful for getting the occasional package, where opening the package manager would be to much of a pain. Unfortunately, before this you can get access to all the applications out there you need to update the package list. ‘Out of the box’ the system doesn’t access all third party application sources. Open the Adept package in the Systems menu and goto Source > Edit Software Sources > Other Software and select the archive location.
With that done, I installed Synaptic, my favorite package manager and vim, my favorite command line editor.
Synaptic runs from my desktop without root permission. This means you can’t install applications. ( Pretty much useless ). Just click the wrench icon that appears when you mouse-over the Synaptic icon. In the Application tab change the Command to ‘gksudo synaptic’. ‘gksudo’ is a wrapper that will let you run a graphic application with root permission.
I have a local network connecting the systems in the house and I wanted to use it to transfer the files to my new system. I installed gFTP, a graphical FTP client application. On my old system, I installed ProFTP as a stand alone system and got its IP address (ifconfig from the command line). Using gFTP I logged into the old system and started transferring the files.
If, like me, you are using ‘Kmail’ as your email client, copy the directory, .kde > share > kmail >mail to a temporary directory on the new system. Then use the Kmail import wizard to import all your email.
Other Out Of The Box Problems
The Akonadi – Gotcha
Kmail uses the Akonadi server for storing the Address Book information. ‘Out of the box’ it was returning errors making the Address Book unusable. The solution was found at https://bbs.archlinux.org/viewtopic.php?id=98707. “go to system settings -> advanced -> kde resources, add an akonadi resource for contacts and one for the calendar and make them standard.” posted by Wu
Amarok Won’t Play
Although Amarok was saying it was setup to play, the play indicator wasn’t moving and the wasn’t any sound. Amarok requires two packages phonon-backend-xine and libxine1-ffmpeg. The phonon-backend-xine was installed but the libxine1-ffmpeg wasn’t. Once that was installed everything worked smoothly.
I am sure there are other problems – I just haven’t found them yet. But, for now everything is running smoothly
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