Thursday, March 31, 2011

Natty Beta1 "sort of" works on Dell E520

Undaunted by the complete lack of success I had trying to installa very recent daily build of Natty, I downloaded a copy of ubuntu-11.04-beta1-desktop-i386.iso and burnt it to a CD.
Once again, I tried to install it where I had Ubuntu 10.10 installed but without formatting /home.
This time, I went for install option #4 which I think was called "something else". In fact, this is simply the "manual" option of former days where you can determine exactly on what partitions to install your root partition and what partitions you want to format.
Incidentally, I also selected the option to install updates while installing and third party drivers too.
Then I rebooted and this time the Desktop looked workable.
However, no gnome-panel was present although once I started it from /usr/bin/gnome-panel it showed up in pretty good shape.
To get over this omission, I just added gnome-panel to StartUp Applications.
So far so good but it's basically downhill from here.
I installed compiz, fusion-icon, yakuake, avant-window-navigator and midori browser.
The browser and yakuake work fine but essentially compiz does not work at all.
Interestingly, the System>>Preferences>>Appearance dialog has no Visual Effects tab. Nevertheless, the nVidia 3D driver that I used in 10.10 does appear to be installed. Perhaps the driver is no longer fully compatible with 3D effects in Ubuntu.
I should mention at this point too that on booting and shutting down, a strange looking white screen with black stripes momentarily appears. It does go away but perhaps this is suggesting some video card discomfort.
When I ran this command

compiz --replace && emerald --replace

(which was already included in Startup Applications) a slow-moving list oif about 12 items, mostly initializing CCSM options and finally starting unity-window-decorator.
However, at this point everything freezes (except the mouse pointer) until after about 3 minutes the computer shuts down.
Perhaps it's the unity thing that's creating this problem.
However, if I run the command "unity-window-decorator in a terminal, and output shows up saying
extents are 1 1 29 1 129

but nothing else seems to happen including no freezing.
Lot's more work to be done here but at least Ubuntu 11.04 is now functional on my box.

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