Tag Archives: live-cd

Ubuntu 9.10 Screencast


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I recently asked all of you to submit your screencasts to me for review. The best of the best will be chosen to be featured here, in my various channels and outlets. This provides content of a different perspective for our community, and gives you new exposure for your work! Duncan has submitted an excellect screencast, showing all of us the new Ubuntu 9.1 operating system.

Before beginning an install, you should check the release notes for important information. Currently, the system requirements are 256MB of RAM, which means it should work on older systems.

There are two ways to obtain Ubuntu 9.10. The first is to go to the downloads page. From there, you can download the release .iso and mount it onto a CD. The other way to obtain it is to visit the Ship It link, and have them mail a physical CD right to your door – for free. However, it can take up to ten weeks to reach you.

Once you have your CD, you’ll find there are many options to use and/or install Ubuntu 9.10. You can live boot, and try it out without actually installing it. It’s very useful for trying it out and deciding what you think. You can also copy the contents of the CD onto a USB drive, which is handy as well.

The most common method of install is the Dual-Boot method in Windows. This involves shrinking your partition and installing Ubuntu onto the free space. Duncan personally chose to install his copy using VirtualBox to install Ubuntu 9.10 inside of a virtual machine.

You can see that the new version looks quite a bit different than the older version. As it was installing, Duncan walked us through several different options as far as video selection, RAM allocations and the like.

Once Ubuntu itself was installed, Duncan went in and installed the Virtual Box Tools. That allows him to do things like using the mouse more effectively. I definitely recommend you make use of the Tools if you’re going to use a virtual machine.

Duncan’s screencast gives you an excellent look into the installation, use and customization for Ubuntu 9.10. Be sure to watch this video if you’re even thinking about checking out this operating system!

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Why Aren't All Linux Live CDs Customizable?


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Yes, Linux is an operating system that I do recommend to people at times. I don’t use Linux as my operating system, but I do have several Linux live CDs. A live CD is one that is started as an ISO file that you download, burn it to a CD, pop it into your drive and reboot. Your computer will run Linux from memory, without writing it to your hard drive. There are even ways that you can put a Linux distro on a flash drive, which is nice. I can carry it around with me, along with some diagnostic tools. This way, if I am working on a machine that won’t boot into Windows, I can open it up with Linux.

The problem that I always have with live CDs for Linux is that when they’re built, they include things I would never include. Or, they don’t put in things that I feel I should have. It just isn’t a very customizable experience. I got a few emails from a community member named Aaron the other day. He wanted to send me to a place where I can customize my Linux live CDs any way I want them.

At Custom NimbleX, you can easily create your own customized version of Linux that only you and the people you share it with will be able to use. Now, you won’t find everything that is available for Linux here, of course, but it is very comprehensive. You can choose to go with a clean, simple customization, or you can choose to create an extremely in-depth one.

You can even choose your default wallpaper(s), including your username, and including the volume at which the controller is set on boot. It’s very easy to create one of these, and absolutely free. If you choose to create a ‘custom’ CD, you choose what categories you want included… and then choose the software! Add what you want, and know you’ll use. Leave the rest alone. How cool is it to finally be able to choose what YOU want and need?

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Rubbing XGL in Windows Vista's Wounds

Everybody went ga-ga over the video I linked to the other day – showing XGL running on KDE in some random flavor of Linux. Some of you suffered from motion sickness after watching the entire thing, but I don’t think typical usage would require or necessitate that much desktop movement in such a small amount of time.

No matter, I went on a quest to find a live CD distro with XGL pre-infused – just to see how well it would work. Because of GPL violations, most XGL-enabled live CDs have been taken offline. I tried installing XGL on my own, following “simple” instructions I found for various distros online – and wound up remembering why I dislike Linux so much in the first place: it’s not easy, no matter what anybody leads you to believe.

GNOME makes Linux easier to navigate, which is why I think so many people have fallen in love with Ubuntu. If Linux is ever going to win over the hearts and minds of the status quo, the GUI must continue to improve. I think XGL gives power users enough eye candy to give Linux another stab – but I couldn’t come close to recommending Linux over OS X for reasons other than economics at this point.

I scoured the BitTorrent directories for XGL-enabled live CD ISOs. Wow, that was probably the geekiest sentence I think I’ve ever written. Anyway, I discovered an XGL-enabled distribution called Kororaa. You can download, burn, reboot, and run Linux without installing it on your hard drive. Grab the torrent for Kororaa Linux Xgl LiveCD 0.2 before it disappears.

Go ahead, try XGL on your own PC – you’ll be amazed. I ran it on Ponzi’s laptop, which has a lame-ass Intel video card. Every one of the XGL effects I tried ran smoother than I ever would have anticipated.

And yes, I believe GNOME looks and works infinitely better than Vista (especially with XGL enabled) for common, everyday tasks.