Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Kubuntu 7.10

In my lab I have a Dell Latitude D600 which is setup to dual boot Windows XP Pro and Linux. At first, I had SUSE but sometime last year I installed Kubuntu 6.10 on the Linux partition. Yesterday, I decided to upgrade to the latest version of Kubuntu -- 7.10.

Upgrading from one version of Kubuntu to the next should be fairly straightforward. You go into the K menu > System > Adept Manager and select Full Upgrade. Since I was on 6.10 and the next step up was 7.04, I had to get to 7.10 in two steps.

The upgrade to 7.04 went fairly smoothly. However, the upgrade program overwrote my /boot/menu.lst file, so Windows XP was no longer an option in Grub's boot menu. Making a note of that I went and upgraded to 7.10.

This morning I went into /boot and found an older version of menu.lst and copied the entry for XP into the new file, then rebooted. "Microsoft Windows XP" appeared in the list of OSes to boot, and when selected, I was able to load it. Whew.

Aside from upgrading the OS, I wanted to check out the Enlightenment window manager. Enlightenment, or "E," is not a full desktop environment like KDE or Gnome. It supports some neat eye candy, but its main attraction is that it's lighter weight than the full desktops, so runs better on lower end hardware. (The Dell runs KDE or Gnome just fine, but I wanted to check out E's usability.)

To install Enlightenment using apt-get from a CLI, I first had to enable additional package repositories in /etc/apt/sources.list. Then, do apt-get update, and finally, apt-get install enlightenment.

E is kinda neat and I'll continue to mess with it, but on systems that can handle a full desktop environment I do find it easier to work in KDE.

So far, Kubuntu seems to run OK on the Dell. I don't use it heavily but it remains one of the more user-friendly Linux distros I've tried. I prefer it over Ubuntu, since it defaults to KDE rather than Gnome for the desktop, though it's simple to install KDE on Ubuntu or Gnome on Kubuntu. For that matter, I may go ahead and install Windowmaker on the Dell, for a NeXTish experience. ;)

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