Ubuntu Hardy Heron 8.04

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Does your desktop look this good?

Welcome to Hardy Heron. I'm not about to repeat what every other blog says about how it's cool and all, but the features are certainly impressive. I downloaded and burned the ISO, popped it into my CD drive, rebooted my computer, and just selected Language, Region, Keyboard Layout and Disk Partition (which was already setup from previous installs). Within 20 minutes, everything was ready to go! It detected my display settings automatically. Unfortunately, I wanted proprietary drivers. No problem there though, as I easily installed it and after a reboot, I had everything I needed.

The cool eyecandy came built in and I just had to install the Compiz Config Settings Manager, which was just a click from the Synaptics Package Manager, and tweak the settings I wanted. The Scale feature was top of my list because I had gotten used to mousing around for my required window. Just in case you encounter the same problem as me, the binding for mouse movements only is not under 'mouse' but under 'screen'.

There was a slight hitch with the hard drives. Somehow, since I'm using pure SATA drives partitioned into quite a number of logical drives, they end up being unmounted by default. While there's nothing really wrong with that, some of the default settings during boot for me, like my desktop background for instance, is stored on those drives, and this is problematic when the drive isn't automatically mounted. I had to manually configure my fstab, and set it to auto mount. Surprisingly, the other 'glitch' I encountered was that my FAT32 drive couldn't be written to when the 'defaults' option was placed in my fstab. I had to manually configure it, and in the process learned something new. I found out that 'defaults' under fstab meant that permissions would be set to 'nouser', so I guess that's the reason.

In any case, everything is working beautifully now. Yes, I decided to install Avant Window Navigator as my dock. I'm still waiting for it to have an 'enlarge on mouseover' feature like a Mac, although it fits every other requirement I have at this point.

I played around with various theming options and settled for a darker shade. I personally think it looks really good. Macs tend to be all whitish, so the black theme would set my desktop apart compared to previously where I tried to make it look like a Mac. I realize now it was quite dumb trying to emulate the Mac, since it's definitely NOT a Mac. Ubuntu can do so much better after all.

Problems? So far, none that I can remember. I think there's a slight glitch with Firefox 3 rebooting my X server each time it accesses certain pages, but I think it's a Firefox thing more than an Ubuntu one. Hopefully it gets fixed by the time Firefox 3 gets released proper... together with the rest of my important extensions.

Posted by Gerald at 4/29/2008 06:21:00 PM