Ubuntu Netbook Remix

30 May 2009 17:21

Although I don't have a 10" netbook, but a 13" notebook and resolution of its screen is much more than 1024x600: 1280x800, I decided to give Ubuntu Netbook Remix a try.

I saw it in action on Pieter's EeePC and it worked pretty good. I liked the idea of maximizing the surface used by windows, by removing the window top bar and the taskbar was pretty cool.

Fortunately, Ubuntu Netbook Remix is only a few additional packets compared to the standard Ubuntu system. (read and see more about it) Moreover, they are all available in the standard Ubuntu repository and to please everyone, they are all dependencies of meta-package ubuntu-netbook-remix. So, installing Ubuntu Netbook Remix on a computer already running Ubuntu is just:

sudo aptitude install ubuntu-netbook-remix

Then, in System menu, you can choose Desktop Switcher app, that let's you toggle between Standard Ubuntu Desktop and Ubuntu Netbook Desktop. One click, and you have (nearly) all the goods.

I encountered some glitches:

  • maximus was not automatically started — windows decorations were not removed automatically. I had to run the program manually. Fortunately after a logout and login, the program starts automatically.
  • having more than 1 workspace produces some strange problems, everything seems to work, but sometimes some things break. Just revert to the standard system, right-click the workspace switcher, and set one workspace in preferences.
  • the Ubuntu Launcher (substitution of all system menus, launched by clicking in left-top corner on the Ubuntu logo) was very very very slow. Animation was killing the performance. After a few tries with enabling compiz (but eventually disabling it) and setting the workspaces number to one and re-login this runs very smoothly. Strange. But finally works nicely.
  • some of the applets are gone. After switching back to standard desktop they appear, but I want them also on the compact mode. But I don't know how to add them and is it possible.

Summing things up, I think the extra 20 pixels you get from removing title bar from the maximized applications (and most of them start maximized by the way) is worth trying. Also the position of applets on the panel is fixed and this stops my problems with applets changing their positions when switching from big resolution (external display) to small (internal one) and back.

And, worth saying, getting rid of this is just as easy as removing the ubuntu-netbook-remix package and packages it automatically installed. Packages automatically installed and no longer needed are detected by aptitude system.

I'm sure I would appreciate the changes even more if I had a smaller laptop.

Thanks Ubuntu team!

Comments: 2

Announcing pymalist

23 May 2009 12:24

I would like to announce pymalist project. It is a stupid and simple highly-modular Pythonic mail list server, that uses basic concepts to do the job well.

Read more on pymalist page, browse the source on GitHub project page.

Comments: 0

Refreshing www.wikidot.org

21 May 2009 18:11

Yesterday I started refreshing www.wikidot.org website — the home of Wikidot open source software.

Also we decided to move from managing our code in SVN to Git — more precisely to www.github.com. Our project page at GitHub is the following: http://github.com/gabrys/wikidot. Feel free to just follow it or even fork!

Last times, I made Wikidot insanely easy to install (check out the installation guide). It totally rocks (you can install Wikidot within 10 commands and no file editing).

I want to state, that this post is the last about the Wikidot open source software on this blog, as I'm running a new blog just about the Wikidot software at wikidot.org. This will be more practical to filter the posts and will push some life into that site.

At the end I want to invite you to the Wikidot IRC channel #wikidot at irc.freenode.org. That would be probably the easiest way to contact the Wikidot team without much formalism.

(As many posts here were about Wikidot software, this blog will be less regularly updated, but if really care about Wikidot software news, just follow the new one and you won't be spammed about posts about Python, BASH or other things. I hope that blog-split will really help everyone.)

Comments: 1

Ubuntu And Intel AGN Wireless Card

19 May 2009 15:20

I finally managed to get a version of kernel/modules that work nice on my wireless card:

06:00.0 Network controller: Intel Corporation PRO/Wireless 4965 AG or AGN [Kedron] Network Connection (rev 61)

I had problems since late Hardy or Intrepid, using different kernel from that time with no luck. The worst case was connecting to WPA2 Enterprise (user/password) secured network. In worst subcase, I had the connection for 5-20 minutes and after that the network card or driver hanged and then only computer reboot used to help.

I was used to see iwlist scan errors like "Resource temporarily unavailable" or "Busy". dmesg showed different things on different kernels.

My frustration was great, when the problem started (after some upgrades that meant to improve things) to appear even on unsecured network. The connection was broken and I had to notoriously reconnect with my NetworkManager.

Finally I found a version of kernel that plays well.

It's from jaunty-proposed repository (enable it in your Synaptic or other package manager). Don't use jaunty-backports (this one was only broken). The package that solves things is: linux-backports-modules-jaunty version The install should also update the linux-image to 2.6.18-12 (update your grub.conf as usual to include the changes).

After rebooting, run uname, to verify the kernel version:

# uname -a
Linux vaio 2.6.28-12-generic #43-Ubuntu SMP Fri May 1 19:31:32 UTC 2009 x86_64 GNU/Linux

This is crucial here: 2.6.28-12-generic. The original Ubuntu kernel is 2.6.28-11 not -12.

Hope this helps someone (with VAIO SZ or any other Intel AGN-enabled notebook with Ubuntu).

Comments: 0

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