Linux Thinkpad T41p ( 2373-GEU )

2006-07-27

TuxMobil - Linux on laptops, notebooks, PDAs and mobile phones

The Hardware

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Ubuntu 6.10

I upgraded to Ubuntu 6.10, using the (not so) automatic mechanism.

I ran

gksu "update-manager -c"

I got a bizarre error message about a missing ubuntu-desktop package, so I installed everything that was mentioned in the upgrade instructions.

sudo apt-get install ubuntu-desktop
sudo apt-get install ubuntu-minimal ubuntu-standard

Somewhere along the way, I got an error message about failing to do something with slocate. This report shows how to fix the issue.

Then I ran

gksu "update-manager -c"

again. Everything went fine, except the X server didn't work when I rebooted. This seems a common issue. I ran

sudo apt-get dpkg-reconfigure xserver-xorg

and chose all the defaults. X came up on my laptop screen but not the external monitor.

I installed the fglrx driver, using Synaptic to search for fglrx. I re-ran

sudo apt-get dpkg-reconfigure xserver-xorg

and selected the fglrx driver. I left everything else at the default. Now the external monitor worked.

Was it a good upgrade experience? Well, it depends. A million things could have broken, and they didn't. But surely the display could have been handled a bit more gracefully.

BTW, you may want to check that there is enough room on /boot before you start the upgrade. I got a scary warning that /boot was 98% full while the upgrader was writing stuff onto it. I don't know what would have happened if it had filled to 100%.

Ubuntu 6.06

My department is switching over to Ubuntu. I figured I should do the same so I could feel the pain of my students. Here are my installation experiences:

Overall, installation and package management seem better than Fedora. I am glad I switched.

Before I get snide comments from the Mac crowd, let me point out that, on my PowerBook, I have equivalent grief with (1) Pilot IR sync (2) my HP PSC750 printer that works perfectly on Linux and craps out on the Mac, (3) many Java apps, and (4) Classic mode that works worse than VMWare for running FrameMaker, my one remaining non-Linux app. The difference: On the Mac, I just give up and live its shortcomings, erm, features.

Fedora Core 5

Ever the glutton for punishment, I installed Fedora Core 5 as soon as it came out.

Conclusions