Jaunty About Ubuntu

Last week, the latest version of the Ubuntu Linux Operating System was released- version 9.04 (meaning it was released in April 09) aka Jaunty Jackalope.

I duly downloaded the files and installed it. I think at one stage we had 4 computers in the house going at once on the upgrade!

My desktop computer upgraded without too many issues. The biggest problem is that there seems to be a mistake in the Open Office derivative bundled with Ubuntu which does not allow you to open databases. I ditched that and installed the original version from the Open Office web-site and it works like a charm.

The other, lesser, issue is that I have not been able to get sound to work on Flash videos (such as Youtube). I've tried all the recommended fixes but there is still something not quite right. It's a minor issue that I will get around to looking at when I get some space in my head.

Last night I decided it was time to resurrect my beloved Eee. For the uninitiated, the Eee is the original "netbook" or super tiny lap top. The Eee comes with a version of Linux (Xandros) pre-installed, but it's a bit clunky. People have produced several different operating systems for the Eee, including the earlier versions of Ubuntu. Unfortunately I wasn't able to get the wireless card to work in any of those that I tried, so I stuck with the native OS.

Why did the Eee need resurrecting? Well, last week while I was in Newcastle, I decided to use Opera on the netbook to import my RSS newsfeeds. Within a couple of days, I had filled up the flash drive to capacity and it was no longer able to boot, because it needs to write to the drive when starting up. This is exacerbated by the fact that the Eee OS keeps a copy of itself in a separate partition, so that if your file system is corrupted you can, in theory, tell it to reset to the original factory condition by copying all the files back to the main partition.

Ubuntu 9.04 comes with a special version called the "netbook remix" which can be loaded onto a USB memory stick and then used to boot the netbook. The problem is that you need to run a special program that makes the USB drive able to boot the netbook. I wasn't able to get that program to run properly on my desktop system- other people may have more success.

But, I do have an external USB CD drive which the Eee can boot from. So I got the full desktop version of Ubuntu which comes as a CD image, I burnt that to a CD and very quickly was able to install Ubuntu onto the Eee from that. I was surprised to find that not only did the wireless card work straight away, without configuring drivers or settings, it actually found the network and asked me for the password. I didn't think it would be that easy! In fact the next time I booted, it connected me without asking.

It all seems to be working fine. I've tweaked a few desktop settings and replaced firefox with opera and evolution with claws-mail (my preferred browser and email programs). I've played with Open Office, which is the other main application I use on the Eee and it seems to be working fine.

If you want to give Linux a go on either a desktop system or a lap top or even a netbook, I really recommend Ubuntu 9.04 It is excellent. About 12 months ago I installed a fresh version of Ubuntu on a friend's computer. It was just a matter of creating the CD and inserting the CD. The CD ran as a "live" version to give potential users a taste. On the desktop was an icon labelled "Install Ubuntu". After I clicked the icon it was just a matter of minutes before it was up and running- brilliant.


8 thoughts on “Jaunty About Ubuntu

  1. I tried Ubuntu and Xandros Linux versions about 3 years ago. I have gone back to XP Pro and it has been working OK for now.I was impressed with the installation of both Xandros and Ubuntu, about 20 minutes and everything worked. XP installation was a pain, sound card driver, video driver all had to be found.The only problem I found was I couldn't work out how to install the programs I wanted. Also there is not a good alternative to Microsoft Money.If the old XP gives me problems I will Give Linux another go.Interesting article you have written.

  2. Thanks for that.Wine works well for many Win programs these days, although anything with Microsoft in the name is likely to be sabotaged by MS :)I use Moneydance for home, church and a few other community organisations. It's quite good for my uses although it lacks in some report formats, notably balance sheets. It's also written in Java and is deliberately made to work across platforms. Gnucash is quite good also I'm told.Way back when I first switched over I used to use Quicken under Wine. It worked quite well.Installing programs these days is usually quite straight forward and handles via package managers. Ubuntu is so popular that most projects produce a binary quite quickly. It's not like the old days when you had to compile everything from source than find out you had a million missing libraries. Usually everything you need gets pulled in as you require it.

  3. I finally got sound working in flash. I tried every solution that I've seen published. Tim suggested removing pulse-audio and it worked. When you try to remove it, apt wants to remove a package called ubuntu-desktop which seems like a really bad idea. It turns out that ubuntu-desktop is just a dummy package and can be safely removed.So now I can watch Monty Python and Little Britain clips on Youtube again!

  4. how did you delete pulse-audio? as i tried to uninstall this on my notebook and the add/remove programs said that pulse-audio was not on there … all the fixes for getting the microphone working on my notebook suggest removing pulse-audio but how can i remove it if it aparently isnt on there? :confused: … if anyone finds a way of getting the microphone to work on ubuntu netbook remix or even ubuntu itself please try to contact me asap…

  5. Originally posted by duaneo128456:

    how did you delete pulse-audio?

    to delete pulse-audio go to "synaptic package manager" and on the left click on install programs then scroll down to the "P" until you see pulse audio

  6. duaneo128456, have you tried using synaptic? That's what I did. Search for pulse-audio and you'll get a whole bunch of packages show up.

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