Ubuntu Revisited

Nov 21 2004

Iva’s brother needed a computer. He’s a computer illiterate and only wants the box to listen to music (rip his CDs first), watch DVDs and edit text. How can people live without being on-line is something hard to grasp, but was the case here ;)

Anyway I bought him a nice small mini-atx barebone system from MSI, with a DVD/CDRW combo, Celeron CPU, 256MB RAM and a 80G drive. Should be all he needs. The system has integrated Intel video and AC97 sound board. You may think I’m not very specific about the config and that’s because Ubuntu rocks so much so I didn’t even have to investigate at all.

In the past, installing Linux ment checking if the hardware is supported, looking around for howtos, editing xfree config etc, etc. Installing Ubuntu was as painless as it could be so now I have flawless experience with two systems. I booted Ubuntu live CD first to see everything was dandy. Then I installed Ubuntu in about 15 minutes and had a system very close to what I needed. I cannot stop repeating myself about how painless and lovely the process was. The only installation as simple as that was MacOSX, but it had the extra step of setting up email and registration, so I’d rate Ubuntu having the easiest installation of all OS I’ve tried over the years. Sound, X with even DRI working which in the case of the Intel gfx I wasn’t expecting at all. Not that it can handle ET, but Quake3 runs very decently. Luckily Ondra won’t be blending, since there’s some redraw issues with blender.

The only thing I had to do is apt-get totem-xine and libdvdcss to get universal DVD playback solution and the czech i10n package for Openoffice. It’s lovely to see our iconset installed in OOo.

Btw I had to set up an alias to do rug in and rug se. apt-get install and apt-cache search is way too much typing and rug is deep in my brain ;). I prefer red carpet for being able to mount a directory too. That feature rocks.


Before this, I tried getting coaster running on my powerbook but failed to solve all the million dependencies so I just installed k3b on this box. Kinda lame, but unless somebody packages coaster I’m out of luck. Personally I don’t burn audio or mixed type CDs so I’m more than happy with nautilus-cd-burner, but in this case I needed it.

I hope the system is going to solve all his requirements - Rhythmbox for music, sound juicer for CD ripping, Totem for DVD and video, Openoffice.org for text editing and Dosbox for running his accounting app.


As a bonus I installed scummvm with Beneath a steel sky and Flight of the Amazon Queen that comes with Ubuntu. Too bad the version of Neverball has a problem with textures with this video card, that’s a very neat game too.