It might seem like a surprise to some of you, but then many others who are reading this probably won’t be surprised to read that I am now running a native instance of Linux on one of my machines are home.
I had an old machine (dual-proc PIII 1 GHz procs with 512 mb RAM) which was running Windows 2003 Server – and it had not been switched on for a while. I had many issues trying to get a working set of Linux. I started with Suse 10.2 and it seems like my blank CD’s were getting corrupt (was at the bottom of the 100 disc set and as you may have read, the bottom few discs are a hit or a miss – seems like the weight on top is not good). Anyway’s, eventually I was able to burn all the ISO’s successfully.
Another irritating situation was the bootable rom was a CD drive and the slave (which was not bootable) was a DVD drive meant I had to first burn all CD’s instead of a DVD for Suse 10.2. After a lot of frustration and misses I finally used the bootable internet installation CD and then install from the DVD (which is in the other drive), this itself was a bit quirky, but I was able to get around it. Eventually when it was up and running the first impressions were good and the resolution was good to and all the hardware was detected and installed.
After running it for a couple of days, I started hitting my knowledge of Linux (i.e. lack of it). It seemed if I wanted to use it as an end user then it was not as as simple as I thought it would be. There were many ways to do the same thing and many programs installed which did the same thing. The initial look and feel which was a lot like Windows (and the Start Menu somewhat like Vista) soon fell apart when I started using it for a couple of days and I started seeing how clunky the interface was!
It was then Karan suggested I should check out Ubuntu instead. As per him the problem with Suse is they change so many things in non-standard ways, unless you have been using it for a while and are familiar with it – definitely not for someone like me who had used Unix (including Microsoft’s flavor called Xenix) but never Unix – never seriously atleast. Can’t say I had heard of Ubuntu till then, but after a bit of research it seemed like the logical choice.
The installation went of smooth (the partitioner was much better than Suse), and it seemed like it was a much better experience from an enduser point of view. The only issue was that the screen resolution was at 1024×768 even though I had Suse running at 1280×1024. I searched online for a resolution and could not find anything that will fix this. As this resolution was “too big”, I formatted and switched back to Suse, but in the end decided that the higher resolution was a lower priority than a more usable Linux distro. Also since this was not going to be my primary machine, I was not that fussed about the resolution. I was in for a pleasant surprise though when I installed Ubuntu again, as this time (for some weird reason) the resolution it identified was 1280×1024!
I will be posting more of my Linux findings here over the next few weeks, however this would be lower priority than some of the other stuff I have been doing.