Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Ubuntu Linx 11.04 - Natty Norwhal superpost.

This post will be updated multiple times as more information becomes available from the users of the new release. This post is strictly for covering the new Ubuntu Linux release (11.04 - Natty Norwhal) and comparing it to the previous 10.10 version Maverick Meerkat. Since the release of Ubuntu 12.04 (Precise Pangolin) it is recommended that users do not use 11.04 since there were MANY improvements, mostly to the Unity desktop environment.

The Installation
I wouldn't want to begin describing an Operating System without telling my readers how they can get their hands on it. Ubuntu is released here directions to the Natty Norwhal beta will be displayed in the main window on that page. Or, you can go to it directly from this link. If you have a shaky internet connection using Bittorrent is a good idea to download Natty. (I downloaded mine through Bittorent.) To download it through Bittorent go to the download page and select either "ubuntu-11.04-beta2-desktop-amd64.iso.torrent " or "ubuntu-11.04-beta2-desktop-i386.iso.torrent"
These are not interchangeable, however. If you're unsure of which one to download use the
 first one. The only difference is that one is for systems that have a 32-bit architecture and the
other is for 32-bit systems. If you use more than 4GiB of RAM, choose 64-bit.

The download can take anywhere from 5 minutes to 5 hours depending on your speed. After
 it's complete it should be saved in your directory where downloads normally go to. 
(By default in Chrome this should be C:/Users/(User)/Downloads). You should see 
"Ubuntu-11.04-beta2-desktop-amd64.iso" there.

Now you're going to have to burn the .iso to a CD to install Ubuntu. Get a CD and configure
 it for file burning in Windows or your current operating system. Roxio is perfectly capable 
of burning .iso's but I prefer Infrarecorder. Unfortunately Infrarecorder is the only program
 I will give instructions for, but documentation exists for other CD burning tools. When you
 open Infrarecorder you will select "Burn Image" at the top.
 From the Burn Image menu select the "Ubuntu-11.04-beta2-desktop-amd64.iso"
 from the directory it was downloaded to. Move the burning speed to the lowest possible
 speed to prevent improper burning.

If you are on a Linux system already Brasero for Gnome and k3b for KDE environments do
the job perfectly. If you are not using X then dd can write the disk image.

Once everything is burned to the disk restart your computer. When you see the intial startup
 screen (Where the splash for your motherboard's company will appear for dell users and BIOS revision can be seen)
 hit f12 or delete. They vary across motherboards. You should see [Command]=boot menu.
 That is the command that you want. when you reach the Boot menu select CD-Rom.

This will begin the CD's job. Your BIOS will now search the disk for an operating system and boot into the hard drive if it cannot be found.
 You should see the Ubuntu menu appear Abandon your mouse for this
 part. You're about to be going full-keyboard. Select Install and follow the instructions as
 you're told to do so. To prevent unexpected problems using the guided setups is the safest
 option. When you get to the part where you need to set up a partition you probably want to
 select the first highlighted option unless you're interested in overwriting your old
 information and Operating System and beginning from scratch. Set your partition size to
 however much space you think you'll need. (This can be changed later on.) I selected 250GB,
 which was over 50% of my total space on my available space. When you are making a custom
layout for your partitions, it is a good idea to leave at least 30 MiB of space called "Swap Space".
The partitioner will do this automatically if you are resizing or using free space.

Once everything is complete Ubuntu will ask you to start typing in Information like a hostname, password, and username.
 You can make this up but be sure to remember both of those crucial sign-in components. 
Losing them, especially as an administrator of the system, can be an extremely complicated
 issue to fix. Once all of your information is set up Ubuntu will install the files that it needs to
 run. If you have an internet connection it will also download extra language packs and updates if you specified so on the first page of the installer. 
You will then be brought to a screen telling you to reboot your computer. Remove the CD and reboot.

Once you're in...
You've probably seen the pictures of Unity (the new desktop environment)
 and expect the taskbar to be on the left side as advertised.
 You assumed correctly and incorrectly at the same time. Unity requires a graphics
 card that allows desktop effects to be moderate. Even if you have a graphics card it may
 not be automatically detected. Since you're stuck in Gnome until you do so, go to
 System>Administration>Additional Drivers. Search for drivers and select your graphics 
card from the list. After clicking enable it will be ready to run Unity after a reboot. 
(For the prewritten step internet connection is required. So set up Network Connections
 in the top right corner.)

Welcome to Unity!
Once the reboot is finished you will now be in the newest desktop environment for
 Ubuntu Linux. Congratulations. Chances are you'll miss having the old 
Applications, System, and Places tabs at first. It's logical, everyone grows connections
 to their old tools. In fact, some Ubuntu users have chosen to stay with the outdated
 Gnome 2.X interface, prompting Canonical to include it in 12.04 and inspiring multiple forks.
After some mucking around in Unity you will find it just as easy to use as Gnome.
 My original plan was to make a demo video of Unity, but due to an unexpected issue
 (nervous stuttering) this can't take place. The unity taskbar is pretty self-explanatory anyway.
 To remove an icon from the bar just right click and deselect the "Keep in Launcher" option.
 To add items just move them from the applications window. To open all applications click the
 plus-signed magnifying glass and hit the left arrow near all applications. Right clicking
 applications or files will give you the categories so that you don't have to search down
 the entire list every time you want a program.

Customizing Natty
11.04 presented Ubuntu users with the most complex graphical user interface they've ever
 seen in an Ubuntu. If you're looking just to show off or to impress yourself or others with
 an even more aesthetically pleasing interface than the default, there are multiple options.
 The Gnome website offers themes that can be installed from
 Applications>Themes & Tweeks>Appearance. First you want to download a theme
 from of a certain variety. Controls are the buttons at the tops of Windows (Minimize, maximize, close) along with the color scheme of applications and folders. Background should be self-explanatory. Window borders are the surroundings of Windows. Once you download the package from Gnome you click "install" on appearances.  Double click the item in whatever directory you downloaded to and click "apply changes" to apply the new theme. Cursor themes may require a restart to function

As Open Source software Updates are released for Ubuntu very often. The first step is to
sync your computer's repository list with the official repositories. From the terminal run
"sudo apt-get update". It will ask you for your password, and then you are ready to upgrade. with "sudo apt-get upgrade". More advanced apt-features include "apt-get dist-upgrade" which will upgrade to a new release of Ubuntu and "apt-get install" which can install particular packages or update them to the newest version.

Root access
Access to Root hasn't changed. Sudo in the terminal will activate it for a specific command. Sudo -s activates it for the entire terminal session. You can also make yourself the administrator. Go to Applications and click all applications. Go to Users and groups and change your current user to administrator or make a new one altogether. The smartest thing to do would be to make a separate user for heavy modifications to your system and keep your current user the same. This way the chance of a critical error happening is lessened.

This superpost was last edited on 6:15pm on 4/20/11
If you want me to cover anything about the new Natty Norwhal release please leave a comment and I will help you specifically or include a new section to my superpost.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

First April Post. Addressing multiple things.

This is my first April post and I will be addressing changes in how this blog is upheld and updated.
Due to lack of writable content blog post length may be decreased. This means that short notificational blog posts may be made in the future. The content that the blog contains will remain the same, but newer updates will rarely go as in depth as my last few have been.
In short nothing has changed, but newer posts will be held to a lower standard of seriousness than my older ones.