GNU/Linux – Ubuntu newbie on laptop

From a newbie…CMIIW…
After Ubuntu 5.04, Fedora Core 3, 4, SimplyMEPIS 3.4.3, Ubuntu 5.10, Mandriva 2006, Fedora Core 5, OpenSUSE 10, Kubuntu 6.06, SimplyMEPIS 6.0, now back to Ubuntu 6.06 (Dapper) from shipit, absolutely free (except Rp 7.000 for Indonesian mail; Rp 3.000 for the small package’s [10 CDs] tax + Rp 4.000 for the extra large plastic recover) ๐Ÿ˜€

Before installation, I found some documentations and help:

Using HP Compaq nx6120, triple boot with SimplyMEPIS 6.0 and Win XP HE (original…:D), Ubuntu Dapper (Live CD + installer) was completely success on installation in about 60 minutes. Since Ubuntu CDs contain only free and open source software applications, we need to improve it. If there isn’t available Internet connection for the laptop, so it does a problem.

Don’t give up, try using Ubuntu Extra CDs or Ubuntu Repository DVD. Ask and find your GNU/Linux or Ubuntu community in your town. Get the power of open source community… ๐Ÿ˜€ usually free, costly for the CD or DVD (or bring your own blank CD/DVD).

Using Ubuntu extra CDs, with command line:

$ sudo apt-cdrom add

add some extra packages for multimedia, games, updates, and plugins (for Firefox).

Well-known classic problems on GNU/Linux are: internal modem, wireless card, and VGA driver.

On my laptop, next list works fine: screen resolution, refresh rate, 3D, battery detected, hibernate, lid close function, CPU scaling, sound, headphone, external bluetooth dongle, touchpad+scrolling, usb mouse, card reader (tested with SD [Brica, SanDisk] and MMC [Visipro]), some tested flashdisks, MP3 player.

Fn key combination works fine with: F4 (external monitor), F8 (battery status), F9-F10 (brightness), insert (print screen), end (num lock), and all keypad number/symbol.

Special key works fine: WiFi, info, volume (up, down, and mute; even led still off).

Internal modem works fine after following this method [updated 13 Oct 06: link updated](my smartlink modem can work with method A; make sure to install necessary packages before compiling drivers).

It doesn’t work (yet?) with: infrared, PDAs (tested with Treo 650 and iPAQ 4150).

Others are not tested yet (LAN should work like previous version).
[Updated 13 Oct 06: WiFi works fine with KWiFiManager after ipw2200 update].

In my opinion as a newbie, I choose Ubuntu because of:

  • GNOME (Ubuntu’s default desktop) is more faster than KDE (but I still use kprinter for PDF print, kdebluetooth, konqueror for super user file management and web page test) ๐Ÿ˜€ [updated 13 Oct 06: and try Nautilus as File Browser (root)]
  • great support community and translations (in Bahasa Indonesia also..thanks)
  • simple (essential) package with only 1 CD (Live CD + installer) for desktop, SimplyMEPIS 6.0 has the same method (debian also [using ubuntu repos], KDE is default, internal modem detected out of box, but WiFi with manual ESSID configuration)
  • easy upgrade from previous version
  • promises always be free of charge ๐Ÿ˜€

Linux for human beings…


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