Monday, May 11, 2009

Linux Monday

Linux Monday: The Laptop Update

If you tuned in last week, you'll recall that I'd done an Ubuntu upgrade on my laptop, from version 8.10 to version 9.04, and I was having some problems with sound and with reading CDs. Searching the forums proved fruitless so I decided to do a new installation.

Step one was backing up my whole /home/john directory. If you're doing this, be sure that you're copying the hidden directories as well; these store configurations and other little stuff like your entire Evolution email directory. Hidden directories in linux all start with a period, for example .mozilla

That took 45 minutes or so to copy to the external hard drive, but that was no-work free time. Once that was done I popped in the Jaunty Jackalope CD and started over. The migration utility did appear, but what it wanted to import was my settings from my rarely used Windows partition, rather than my settings from my old Ubuntu installation. Again, this may be bcause I had already used the upgrade process to move from 8.10 to 9.04. I'm curious to see if anyone has tried doing a new install of 9.04 over an 8.10 install and seen the migration tools.

Once I was past that, it was just a nice smooth 25 minute or so Ubuntu install, like I've done dozens of times. I rebooted (which was nearly twice as fast as 8.10) and heard the log-in drumbeats, and knew the audio issues were fixed.

That done, I needed to manually copy over the configuration files I'd backed up. To do this, I opened the file manager, Nautilus, from the command line as the super-user (sudo nautilus) All I really wanted to save was my email in Evolution and my Firefox bookmarks (and of course my documents, which I mostly keep on the flash drive anyway). My in-box was all happy, and when I opened Firefox I had the same set of tabs I'd seen just before the reinstall.

Way more geeky than I had hoped; somehow I feel like I'm not persuading you. But it is for the most part working well. Laptop hibernation, often a Linus problem, still isn't perfect. The only thing I've tried to do and completely failed is getting my CPU temperature meter on the task bar. I was having overheating issues pre-repair, and that probably led to my fried motherboard and CPU (thankfully, under warranty) so I want to keep an eye on that.

Once again, the Open Office upgrade (3.0 to 3.1) just misses the Ubuntu upgrade. One of the more controversial decisions in Ubuntu 8.10 was to stick with Open Office 2.4 rather than going with the just out 3.0.

Here's some instructions to upgrade yourself to Open Office 3.1 in Ubuntu 9.04 (warning: command line voodoo).

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