Monday, November 02, 2009

Installed Karmic Koala on my MacBook

I had previously tried Karmic Beta on the EeePC 901 and it worked pretty well. However, as I multiboot a number of Linux OSes as well as Haiku, the new Grub2 system scared me. This principally applied to the absence of /boot/grub/menu.lst which I have used for years without problems and the new /boot/grub/grub.cfg with its "Do Not Edit" warning. For multibooters, this is not convenient to put it mildly.
I additionally had some (as yet unexplained) wireless problems on the EeePC 901 with Karmic.
So, I tried again but this time on my MacBook (MacTel 2.1) and I did a clean install on the / partition while leaving /home untouched. I selected ext3 as the fs for both partitions mainly because that's what I already had on /home and I wasn't going to format this I wanted to have the same fs on both partitions.
The install went fine (incidentally, it took about 20 minutes in all which compares with about 70 minutes to install Pardus 2009 ad 100 minutes for Pardus 2008.2).
This time with the Ubuntu install I installed the Grub2 bootloader to the / partition instead of to the mbr as I want to avoid messing up mu multiboot system.
Then I had to use the install CD as a Live CD and go into Grub (1) as root. Then I setup Grub from Linux Mint (which still uses Grub1) on the mbr.
Then I was comfortably able to boot to Ubuntu Karmic. However, it is apparently possible to take out Grub 2 and substitute Grub 1 so I might do that soon.
I had relatively few problems in using Karmic. The problems I had, how I solved them as well as some enhancements I installed are listed below:
1. No sound in anything (vlc 1.0.0, lastfm, grooveshark). Initially I opened alsamixer and made sure nothing was muted which it wasn't. Then I installed gnome-alsamixer and did the same thing. Again nothing was muted.
I finally got the sound back by going to
Sound Preferences>>Hardware Tab
and selecting Analog Stereo Output as the setting for the selected device (of which there was only one).

2. Boot speed improved from about 75 seconds to 50 seconds by installing Ubuntu Boot as detailed here.

3. As I had already noticed when I install Karmic Beta on the EeePC 901, osd-notifications are displaced quite a bit lower on the screen than they used to be in Jaunty which is a little ugly. Fortunately, this is easy to fix just by installing this deb package.

4. I like to be able to use ctrl-alt-bckspc to restart X but this is disabled in Karmic (as it was in Jaunty, too). However, this is simple to enable just by going to
System>>Preferences>>Keyboard>>Layouts (tab)>>Layout Options (button) and checking the ctrl-alt-bckspc bot under Key Sequence to kill the X server.

5. I also disabled IPv6 as I don't have it available here and I used to have great problems in Firefox without disabling this. These days I don't use Firefox at all but nevertheless I disabled IPv6 by running

# echo 1 > /proc/sys/net/ipv6/conf/all/disable_ipv6

Check if ipv6 is disabled by running
cat /proc/sys/net/ipv6/conf/all/disable_ipv6

where an output of 0=enabled and 1=disabled.

6. I followed the guide here to get iSight working in Karmic. This worked without a problem.

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