Just what you wanted: another laptop update!

Linux has taken to lummox, the new machine,  like a fish to water.  I’m so pleased!  Just about everything worked  right out of the box.  But there are always nits to pick, so I spent most of my free time this past weekend getting things set up just so.  Notes:

  • Kubuntu‘s installer doesn’t include the option to resize existing partitions.  Since I didn’t want to wipe out the existing Windows XP partition, I bootd a Kanotix LiveCD and used QtParted to shrink the partition down.  I wasn’t able to make nearly as much space as I wanted though, because for some reason Windows parks some giant file in the middle of the partition, instead of at the beginning, which is then reported as “unmovable” by the Windows defrag utility.  Anyoen know why this is, and if there’s a utility out there that can move it?  I tried dorking around with the pagefile and hibernate file settings, to no effect.
  • Kubuntu install went more or less seamlessly, although it barfed for no apparent reason toward the end while copying packages to the disk.  I booted into single user mode and did the copy manually, but I doubt anyone without a fair amount of Debian and shell experience would have known what to do.  I’m wondering if it was a transient CD reading error.  Maybe I should invest in higher-quality CDRs.
  • Kubunt has made strides towards being as polished as it’s sibling.  It still has some warts, mostly in the system administration tools department, but it’s feeling steadily less tacked-on.  I have high hopes for the Dapper Drake release.
  • Just about all my hardware was detected and configured correctly.  Correct screen resolution on the widescreen display, wireless networking with an open access point Just Works, sound Just Works.
  • I had to install and configure wpa_supplicant to get WPA secure wireless networking working.  Hopefully as WPA becomes more common this will get rolled into the autoconfiguration.
  • After some reading and a fair amount of trial and error, I managed to enable the advanced features of the touchpad.  Now it’s briefly disabled while I type, the scroll-wheel emulation works, second- and third-button emulation works…. it’s great 😀  All I need to do now is tweak it for my personal preferences.
  • Got the media buttons (play/pause/volume/etc. buttons on the front of the machine) working with lineakd.
  • Suspend works fine, although I think I may need to configure it to refresh networking when it wakes up.  Hibernate doesn’t quite work.
  • CPU frequency scaling Just Works.  Apparently so does fan control and all the other fancy power management tricks.

This may actually qualify as the best Linux install experience I’ve had yet, which is pretty amazing considering it’s on a laptop.

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  1. shhhh!

    you are very interesting person

  2. Next you should triple-boot to Beos.

    Oh, and I think partitionmagic has something or another for defragging which might be able to move those files. If you can get ahold of one of the bootable cds, it might help. I’m assuming you tried to defrag the harddrive in safe mode with windows?

    Huzzah for dual-booting a laptop! Everything seems a whole lot easier to use with most distros these days than a couple years ago.

    1. Hmmm, safe mode. Ahhhhh yes, it all comes back.

      Now to figure out how to boot XP in safe mode…

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