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The Release Candidate of Gutsy was released recently. As I had some free hours, I decided to upgrade to this RC release. After an official release, all Ubuntu servers are overloaded anyway, so this was the right moment. I uninstalled Compiz Fusion first, and then I initiated the upgrade with the

update-manager -d

command, which downloaded and installed the upgrade without a glitch. Compiz Fusion is now the default window manager, so that means eye candy for the masses.

Seems that Ubuntu choose to use the Xgl server as default for use with Compiz Fusion. This runs without any problems on my NVidia card, so I decided to stick with it. In the past, I had my share of troubles with Beryl/Compiz and the buggy NVidia drivers.

Overall, a great upgrade experience ! Gutsy runs in all its glory, without any upgrade problem. Nice work, Canonical !



I purchased a new Acer Aspire laptop. I test-drived Windows Vista for 4 days, during which it bluescreened on me twice. Today, I installed Ubuntu Feisty on it. Surprisingly, almost everything worked out of the box; only the maximum screen resolution obliged me to install 915resolution first, after which the 1280x800 resolution in Gnome came available. Even the built-in webcam worked without a problem ! Only shame that the default installation of Ubuntu doesn't support LVM.
I just have to resolve some problems with the wireless link, but that's probably due to some weird encryption algorithm I configure at my access point. Ubuntu has an excellent Linux on laptop wiki, where the Acer Aspire 5610 is described here.
The laptop is called Esgaroth to the city in the Long Lake, south of the Lonely Mountain and east of Mirkwood, as described in The Hobbit and in Lord of the Rings.

Feisty upgrade trouble


I'm writing this on my newly upgraded Feisty, but boy, did this upgrade took some problems ! First of all, the update-manager crashed after some time during the install of the packages. So I switched to good old 'apt-get dist-upgrade'-'apt-get -f install' combinations which finally got things less or more straight.

After reboot, I got the usplash screen; when my disk kept on rambling, I knew there was big trouble. Getting rid of the usplash logo was easy, and it seemed that udev was causing lots of trouble. The combination with evms and lvm seemed fatal, causing the system only to boot partially into single user. I got even kernel crashes when I disabled evms. Eventually switching to Edgy's kernel version, and getting rid of lvm and evms alltogether finally let me into the realm of runlevel 3. After that, all was easy : switching to linux-2.6.20, re-enabling AIGLX and beryl, and lo and behold, Ubuntu Feisty in all its glory.

Most troublesome dist-upgrade *ever*

AIGLX + Beryl


The last versions of Beryl contained some problems with my NVidia card, which forced me to start using the cvs versions of Beryl. However, these versions brought another problem to light : Xgl had a huge memory leak. After some hours of work, my memory and swap were filled by Xgl. Up to some point where the kernel started to kill some processes. Not much fun if you know that's mostly Xgl which was killed.

So I decided to switch over to the AIGLX/Beryl combination. Here's an installation HOWTO for Edgy. My first impression : yes, it's more stable, and my memory consumption stays reasonable. Many of the OpenGL programs like xscreensaver-gl and Google Earth work much better now too.

Ubuntu essentials


Now that the french parliament has switched to Ubuntu ("Merde," said Bill Gates), this is a good opportunity to point to the Ubuntu 2006 essentials list; this list aims at Ubuntu beginners, and points out some must-have programs to make the Linux switch substantially easier.


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