The path of least resistance

Edit: Unfortunately, the images originally included in this post are gone, because of hosting problems in late 2009. My apologies.

I have put together my first — and second, technically — Intrepid desktops now, and have a few interesting things to mention. This is for my own benefit of course, and not really intended as any sort of review, regardless of how it comes out. I just want to make sure I can avoid a few problems in the future.

First, I should mention that my initial attempt at a Hardy-Intrepid upgrade bombed terrifically, and that it is 100-percent, without reservation or stipulation my fault. I’m emphasizing that fact, because I know there are dissatisfied Ubuntu users who will clutch on to any failed attempt of proof that Ubuntu X.XX is a flop.

No, gentle reader, this is totally my own doing. What did I do? Well, quite simply I didn’t follow the path of least resistance. Instead of taking the easy, GUI-based route — enabling distribution upgrades through the software sources menu, refreshing my repositories and following the wizard — I hacked mercilessly at my /etc/apt/sources.list, rearranged it to my liking, updated, upgraded with aptitude, and was left with a console-only system.

So once again, whose fault is that? Mine.

Because the second time around, when I took the easy, scenic route, everything went dandy. No problems. And a beautiful Intrepid desktop to report.

Everything works, that I usually use. I can mount my modular hard drive with one click. Ethernet is perfect. Sound is perfect. Date is correct, filesystems are intact, CD and DVD access are golden. No errors to report or investigate. Smooth sailing, and all I had to do was upgrade in the socially acceptable manner.

An interesting point: Intrepid does not offer to install any proprietary graphics drivers for me, whereas Gutsy and Hardy practically grabbed me by the throat and pinned me to the floor with a popup balloon, offering to install the restricted versions.

Not from Intrepid. And according to the hardware drivers submenu, there are no restricted drivers in use on the system, and none are offered for installation.

I don’t know if that’s intended or not. I’ve had a real hairball of an experience getting the 96xx-series driver to work with the 2.6.27 kernels, and that I blame on Nvidia and no one else. It might be that my card is blacklisted from installing the proprietary driver, because I know full well that it will take the combined efforts of a driver, a patch, a coding guru, four bottles of C.C. Lemon and a barrel of plastic army men to get the thing to work with 2.6.27.x. (If anyone else is using those two components together, please let me know how you did it. It wasn’t working for me in Arch, Crux or Ubuntu, and I’m not ashamed to admit it. Judging by what I was following on the NvNews forums, status-quo was no-go.)

But that’s not the focus of this note-to-self. I’ve installed Osmo (only v2.0 but better than nothing), Wine and a couple of other packages since I made the jump from Hardy to Gutsy, and so far everything is peas and carrots. I’m content to call it a success thus far, and try my first pure system next. From there I’ll probably try Kubuntu and Xubuntu systems, and then make sure the tweaks I have in the guide are working as expected.

And from there? We’ll see what happens. ;)

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4 Responses to “The path of least resistance”


  1. 1 Sapan Upadhyay 2008/11/03 at 11:05 PM

    Hi K.Mandla,

    When I tried out Ubuntu 8.10, I found that the restricted drivers come up when you try to play something of that format. By this, I mean when you start up something like an mp3 in Totem or some similar program, it will ask you if you want to install the restricted drivers. IMHO, this is much better than the annoying restricted driver icon in the panel (which would show up for me randomly even if I didn’t need any restricted drivers).

    Oh, and I don’t know if you have tried out the new Xubuntu, but I think it is really solid this go around. They seem to have replaced a lot of the more “feature-rich” software with simpler ones (and plus, it looks really cool :) ).

  2. 2 mike 2008/11/04 at 7:00 PM

    Nvidia drivers 96.xxx and 71.xxx has been dropped because of the new xorg.
    http://www.ubuntu.com/getubuntu/releasenotes/810#nVidia%20%22legacy%22%20video%20support

  3. 3 K.Mandla 2008/11/04 at 10:19 PM

    Ooph. Thanks for that. It still hits me like a punch in the stomach though.


  1. 1 omg swfdec ftw! « Motho ke motho ka botho Trackback on 2008/11/03 at 11:49 AM

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May 6, 2011
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