Life with Linux: Simplifying and starting over

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Ok, so yesterday I talked about dual booting Fedora and Ubuntu. Last night I played a bit with the multi-boot situation, looked at some upgrade options, learned more than I wanted to know about the grub boot loader, and generally thought about the situation.

This morning I blew away everything on the hard disk by repartitioning it and installing Ubuntu 9.04 only. It is this that I will work on optimizing. I did not choose a distro like Mandrake or Gentoo because I need to have one on which our IBM internal tools are supported.

Clearly what I’m doing is chronicling my experiments with Linux on the desktop. Sometimes I may reverse direction, back things out, start over, give up on things that once seemed promising but didn’t pan out, or else keep what has turned out to be just the right configuration or software.

This doesn’t scare me since I have done tens of Linux installations through the years. So much of what I do is on the web or in the “cloud,” in a general sense, that it doesn’t take me long to switch to a new version or a new distro. It just takes a few hours and that’s not long to spend to get a better setup or learning more about the latest versions. I don’t recommend this approach to everyone, but it’s how I work.

I did not go with the virtualization approach here since I know from experience that I rarely if ever switch from a desktop Linux to another once hosted on the first.

My restart effort began by my putting the Ubuntu 9.04 CD in the Lenovo T400 laptop and rebooting. I answered a few questions and in about 15 to 20 minutes I had a sparkly new operating system on my machine. After I rebooted, I went into the System > Administration > Update Manager menu and checked for updates. There were many, I installed them, and I rebooted. At this point I had a vanilla but up-to-date Ubuntu installation.

Basic Ubuntu desktop

Next, I’ll do some customizations.

Also See: Life with Linux: The series


  1. Bob,

    Good move.

    Ubuntu is he strongest distro. The next milestone in Linux will be when Ubuntu overtakes Apple in market share.

    It’s only a matter of time.

    BTW, I never do *any* customizations, except the most trivial:

    I had forgotten that I had made mention of you and the Redmonker’s, as I was just reminded when I reread it.

    thanks, dave

  2. BTW, the 9.04 install is *very* fast. Evidence suggests they are caching the Live CD content, reading it in at one fell swoop.


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