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GNU/Linux Desktop Survival Guide
by Graham Williams

3 Feb 2008

First, boot into MS/Windows Vista Home Basic and open up the Computer Management tool to resize the C: drive. To start the Computer Management tool, right mouse button click the Computer icon. Then select Disk Management. The default disk was originally partitioned as follows (showing the information from Ubuntu Live):

/dev/sda1 1.5G /media/TOSHIBA SYSTEM VOLUME
/dev/sda2 69.0G /media/S3A6258D001
/dev/sda3 0.6G /media/HDDRECOVERY

The large partition was resized down to 40GB (that seemed to be all that the tool would let me do even though only 14GB is in use) leaving 28GB for Ubuntu.

Rebooting from a Standard Ubuntu 7.10 DVD was then done by pressing F12 on startup to display the boot menu so that we can choose CD/DVD. Ubuntu gives a menu of options, the default being ``Start or install Ubuntu,'' which is what we chose. This loaded the appropriate software from the DVD and started up Ubuntu without touching the current installation of Vista.

On the desktop we then double clicked the Install icon. Manual disk partition was chosen. On the Advanced option of the final Ubuntu Install sequence we chose to install Grub into hd(0,4) rather than the default hd(0). My intention was to use the EasyBCD utility from NeoSmart on Vista to edit the Vista boot loader and use that to control which OS is started. The aim is to not touch the currently installed Vista as such since I was not convinced that Ubuntu had found the Vista partition. I should not have been concerned, because the resulting Grub menu included both the Vista partition and the recovery partition! Nonetheless, using two boot managers works okay - first EasyBCD and then Grub. Grub was set up with a 5 second timeout and with hiddenmenu turned on. Similarly, EasyBCD was set up to default to Ubuntu with a 5 second timeout.

Install: lang=English, location=Sydney, kb=US English, partition=manual and format /dev/sda5 and mount as /, migrate=none, name=, hostname=millyn, boot=(hd0,4).

Grub automatically noticed Windows Vista/Longhorn (loader) and added an appropriate entry for booting (so we could have written to the master boot record, as it turns out).

Eject DVD, reboot into MS/Windows. Startup EasyBCD to add a new entry for Ubuntu GNU/Linux booting from the native Linux partition (claims to be partition 3 here). Make this the default boot and set the timeout to just 5s. Save the configuration and reboot.

Ubuntu boots and Gnome starts up. Open up Synaptic to change the repository to iinet and Reload. Then in a terminal install wajig and the upgrade the system. Using wajig, install emacs22-gtk. Edit /boot/grub/menu.lst to enable hiddenmenu, change the timeout to just 5s, and rename the second Vista entry to be Recover. Change the number of Workspaces to be just 1 (less confusing). Edit /etc/fstab to add ``noauto'' to three lines that mount some MS/Windows partitions.

Install a bunch of useful applications:

$ wajig install most ubuntu-restricted-extras xmms 
$ wajig install gstreamer0.10-pitfdll vlc
$ sudo /usr/share/doc/libdvdread3/install-css.sh

To get sound working with the audio chip of this laptop it needed upgrading the kernel to recognise the chip properly. We had to make sure we got the appropriate modules since at first we did not have wifi working after upgrading the kernel.

export REPOS="http://ftp.iinet.net.au/pub/ubuntu/pool"
export MAIN="${REPOS}/main"
export LU="linux-ubuntu-modules-"
export REST="${REPOS}/restricted"
export LR="linux-restricted-modules-"
wget ${MAIN}/g/glibc/libc6_2.7-5ubuntu2_i386.deb
wget ${MAIN}/m/module-init-tools/module-init-tools_3.3-pre11-4ubuntu3_i386.deb
wget ${MAIN}/l/linux/linux-image-2.6.24-5-generic_2.6.24-5.8_i386.deb
wget ${MAIN}/l/${LU}2.6.24/${LU}2.6.24-5-generic_2.6.24-5.9_i386.deb
wget ${MAIN}/g/glibc/libc6-i686_2.7-5ubuntu2_i386.deb
wget ${REST}/l/${LR}2.6.24/${LR}2.6.24-5-generic_2.6.24.6-5.16_i386.deb
wget ${REST}/l/${LR}2.6.24/${LR}common_2.6.24.6-5.16_all.deb
wajig install libc6_2.7-5ubuntu2_i386.deb \
      module-init-tools_3.3-pre11-4ubuntu3_i386.deb \
      linux-image-2.6.24-5-generic_2.6.24-5.8_i386.deb \
      linux-ubuntu-modules-2.6.24-5-generic_2.6.24-5.9_i386.deb \
      libc6-i686_2.7-5ubuntu2_i386.deb \
      linux-restricted-modules-2.6.24-5-generic_2.6.24.6-5.16_i386.deb \

VLC plays DVDs but not totem.

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