Next Project 0.2: Portable Multi-Distro Linux USB Drive

Change of plans. Instead of a using only Ubuntu, I’ve decided to add other Linux flavors. I’m currently downloading Linux Mint 5 Elyssa. I still have space for more Linux distributions in my 80GB Western Digital Scorpio drive. I like the Mint philosophy about ease of use. Maybe as I progress and learn more, I’ll look into non-Debian based distributions. Aside from usability, my biggest issue will be community support. Mint has the same positive and helpful community that I like in Ubuntu. I’ve only been to their parent’s forum once and it felt kinda hostile. I was disappointed since it came highly recommended by my fellow Ubuntu users. But I’ll give it another look. Like everything else in life – gotta learn the roots.

I have an NTFS partition in my WD Scorpio that I’ve already backed up into my Ubuntu 8.04 Hardy Heron installation. I’m experiencing a lil sentimentality and hesitation in wiping it off the drive. There’s still plenty of space though. I can shrink the NTFS and use the rest for swap, /home and an extended partition to house the distributions I would try.

I have another concern. These distributions usually have their own bootloader. Although I don’t really use Grub that much as I use my hard drives independently by choosing which one to boot in the BIOS Boot Menu, that won’t be possible in this planned drive. I guess I can pick only the ones that use Grub but I’m not sure how much variety that would give me. I’ll have to look into that in the days that come. For now, looks like my partitions are set. Will try Mint first on my USB drive and go from there. Good luck to me.

(“,)

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Next Project 0.2: Portable Multi-Distro Linux USB Drive

Conky and Compiz Fusion in Hardy Heron 8.04

My Linux Ubuntu upgrade from Gutsy Gibbon 7.10 to Hardy Heron 8.04 was not painless. I encountered crash reports but was unable to open the actual report and it wouldn’t update. So I went ahead and did a clean install of the latest Ubuntu offering. It went fine. My only issue is it won’t read a certain DVD I have although it works with others. But no big deal. On to the tweaking…

I edited my Advanced Desktop Effects Settings. In CompizConfig Settings Manager, I went into General Options>Desktop Size tab and changed the Horizontal Virtual Size to 4 so I can get a cube. Then I enabled the Desktop Cube, Rotate, and Cube Caps. Everything else is in their default state. Cube works with no problems. I’ve also figured out where to adjust the size of the cube when rotating. It’s under CCSM>Rotate Cube>General>Zoom. The higher the zoom number, the smaller the cube gets.

And my favorite application, Conky does what it usually does and like always after an upgrade, I am left to tinker to get my temperatures to show up. I will list the commands I’ve used to get this up and running:

sudo apt-get install conky
sudo apt-get install lm-sensors libsensors3 libsensors4 sensors-applet libsensors-applet-plugin0 hddtemp
sudo sensors-detect (answer "Y" to all questions)
sudo gedit ~/.conkyrc

The last code will open up a text file where you can copy/paste or create your own conky settings. To make conky start automatically everytime you boot up, go to System>Preferences>Sessions and add “conky” to the start up programs. Take note of the lowercase letters or else it won’t work. After this, restart your computer and you should be able to see the fruits of your labor. I will attach my conky code as well as the screenshots:

background yes
use_xft yes
xftfont HandelGotD:size=9
xftalpha 0.5
update_interval 1.0
total_run_times 0
own_window yes
own_window_type normal
own_window_transparent yes
own_window_hints undecorated,below,sticky,skip_taskbar,skip_pager
double_buffer yes
minimum_size 200 5
maximum_width 200
draw_shades no
draw_outline no
draw_borders no
draw_graph_borders yes
default_color white
default_shade_color red
default_outline_color green
alignment top_right
gap_x 12
gap_y 48
no_buffers yes
uppercase no
cpu_avg_samples 2
override_utf8_locale no

TEXT
$sysname $kernel on $machine

Uptime $alignr $uptime
Load $alignr $loadavg

Hostname $alignr $nodename
eth0 $alignr ${addr eth0}
Mobo CPU Temp $alignr ${hwmon temp 1}C ${hwmon temp 2}C
HDDlinux $alignr /dev/hdb ${execi 300 nc localhost 7634 | cut -c53-54 ;}C
HDDwindows $alignr /dev/hda ${execi 300 nc localhost 7634 | cut -c27-28 ;}C

CPU $alignr ${cpu cpu0}%
${cpubar cpu0}

MEM $alignc $mem / $memmax $alignr $memperc%
$membar

/root $alignc ${fs_used /} / ${fs_size /} $alignr ${fs_free_perc /}%
${fs_bar /}

/home $alignc ${fs_used /home} / ${fs_size /home} $alignr ${fs_free_perc /home}%
${fs_bar /home}

swap $alignc $swap / $swapmax $alignr $swapperc%
${swapbar}

$processes processes ($running_processes running)

${color white}Highest CPU:
${color de0b0b}${top name 1}${top_mem cpu 1}
${color white}${top name 2}${top cpu 2}
${top name 3}${top cpu 3}
${top name 4}${top cpu 4}
${top name 5}${top cpu 5}

${color white}Highest MEM:
${color de0b0b}${top_mem name 1}${top_mem mem 1}
${color white}${top_mem name 2}${top_mem mem 2}
${top_mem name 3}${top_mem mem 3}
${top_mem name 4}${top_mem mem 4}
${top_mem name 5}${top_mem mem 5}

${color}Networking:
Down:${color} $alignr ${downspeed eth0} k/s${color} ${offset 80}
$alignc ${downspeedgraph eth0 32,150 de0b0b de0b0b}
Up:${color} $alignr ${upspeed eth0} k/s ${offset 80}
$alignc ${upspeedgraph eth0 32,150 de0b0b de0b0b}

Cube in Linux Ubuntu Hardy Heron 8.04 Compiz Fusion Cube in Linux Ubuntu Hardy Heron 8.04 Compiz Fusion Cube in Linux Ubuntu Hardy Heron 8.04 Compiz Fusion

I’m done for today. Might look into making Conky prettier in the future. Have a good day!

Conky and Compiz Fusion in Hardy Heron 8.04

Finished Upgrade: Gutsy Gibbon 7.10 to Hardy Heron 8.04

Posting from Linux Ubuntu Hardy Heron 8.04, second try. My first try was doing an upgrade from the manager. After finishing that and booting up in Heron 8.04, 2 things caught my eye – the prompt for updates and a Crash Report. First thing I clicked on was the Crash Report but it does not respond. Clicking on Update Manager doesn’t do anything either. I went in search for possible solutions but none came soon enough. I wanted to give Heron a try and the wait was not promising. So I went with the popular vote and did a clean install.

I made the mistake of doing it with my XP drive still plugged in. My boot setup is that of two drives operating independently of each other with XP being the primary drive. Both XP and Ubuntu booted up as it should but the problem starts when you remove one drive. Grub error 17 comes up whenever that’s the case. Next order of battle is to fix the windows MBR. Luckily, when things were working I was able to burn a way out. I went into Recovery Mode DOS and entered “fixmbr”. Once that was done, XP booted up nice in its own independent way.

I then took off the XP drive, leaving only the Linux drive and booted up the LiveCD. Reinstalled Linux and of course take a nap. Grub is safe and sound only in the Linux drive. Everything works peachy. As in my last post, there are 2 main things I want working. My Conky and Compiz-Fusion settings aren’t up and running yet. But I will be working on those next. In the next release of Ubuntu, I will attempt the upgrade first and the clean install will be the last option. I just have to remember removing the XP drive if I end up doing it again.

To summarize: If upgrading does not work, remove the XP drive before doing a clean install. I’m glad to have kept a record of the changes I have made. At least I have some sort of guide to put my settings back the way they were in 7.10. I have XP and Linux Ubuntu 8.04 running as planned. Spent a good deal of time but definitely another learning experience worth the effort.

Finished Upgrade: Gutsy Gibbon 7.10 to Hardy Heron 8.04