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Just Installed Ubuntu on my Laptop

Having just rolled off a project at work and having some down time it is/was a perfect time to “blow up” my laptop. I formatted the hard drive, reinstalled Windows XP, then I shrank the NTFS partition down to 10 GB. That left me with 70 GB for my Ubuntu install.

The install went pretty good. Yes, there were some problems, but I got past them fairly easily. The first prob was that the install disk failed on boot because of the odd 17 inch 1440×900 display my laptop has. I used some boot params given in the startup help by Ubuntu and was past that.

Next, I ran into more display problems in the post-install process. Again, the display settings were bad and X wouldn’t start. Some quick googling for installing Ubuntu on my HP zd8000 took me to Keir Gordon’s Blog which had some helpful notes on getting the video working.

Now what do I do?

I still have some system setup tasks. I need to get the wifi working, I need to get my second monitor working (ViewSonic VA1912wb). Figure out if sleep/hibernate modes work.

Then I get to install all the software I need. Obviously, I’ll need Java and Eclipse. What else? I did a pretty good job documenting everything I installed on this laptop when it was a windows box. I guess I’ll take another look at that post.

Anybody have any suggestions? Favorite mods/tweaks. Must have Linux applications?

5 replies on “Just Installed Ubuntu on my Laptop”

You’re doing exactly what I plan to do with my new laptop. As for must have….completely personal.

Given that I podcast I must have Audacity but most people don’t need it. Ubuntu comes pretty well loaded so you should have alot to choose from. (I installed it just to check it out while I waited for the next release of VL) If I remember correctly it doesn’t come with a mp3 codec so you’ll need to install LAME yourself. Given how you own a iPod I’m sure there are packages that would allow connectivity. But then again, given how well apple has made their product you may not want too.

The biggest problem you are going to have with Linux in general is wifi. Needless to say Ndiswrapper will be your friend. http://ndiswrapper.sourceforge.net/mediawiki/index.php/List

Good luck and keep us updated.

Hey Mark,

Funny you mention Ndiswrapper. I’m chatting with a guy who JUSt mentioned I need to look at the Ndiswrapper.

First I need to get wifi going, then my 2nd monitor. I’ll keep you posted on my progress.

Erik

You’ll need a good diffing tool, tkdiff (available in one of the ubuntu repositories) is good and works well with Subversion. Evolution works if you need access to Exchange, but it’s buggy. I much prefer Thunderbird to it. On my old Inspiron 9200 laptop, I had Ubuntu 5.10 running very well with the DVI out going to a Dell 2001FP LCD for a nice dual-screen setup. I had fglrx as the video driver. If you want, I can send you the xorg.conf I used.

GAIM works well as an IM client. There’s a lot of good information at this site: http://ubuntu.wordpress.com/

what version are you using? I’ve been running the Dapper beta (6.06) for about a month now. I have only booted the XP partition once to test if my external usb drive was readable by windows.

I have to say, with Dapper I had ZERO install issues. All the video drivers were perfect, wifi worked no problem. I think wifi works easily of you have intel centrino wireless. if you have broadcom, i think there are some issues because they are not very friendly to the OS community with driver support.

Just to say that I had zero install issues with the ViewSonic VA1912wb and Im using Dapper on an “old” desktop system that “saw the light” and ditched XP. Although the monitor ships with Win XP drivers CD-Rom, I did not need any drivers with Dapper at all.

Funnily enough, I am having problems with the company laptop which must stay on XP (apparently Linux is “too risky” for my insurer employer). Can’t get the monitor to display without closing laptop lid! Probably some XP setting needs tweaking but I do not want to poison this forum with such issues (will the post be censored to remove my poisonous utterances?)

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