Trying Linux… Again…
I am actually trying Linux now that the new PC is up and running. It has Windows 8.1 on the main hard drive, but I have a Seagate 7200.7 160GB SATA drive in one of my hot swap bays. I didn’t want to disrupt my SSD drive in any way. I had put Zorin OS 8 Core on it in a dual boot, but the networking in Zorin got flaky. With Start8 from Stardock installed, Windows 8 is pretty incredible (I have to be dragged into Metro for some menial tasks that can’t be done without it), but it is Windows.
I am using Ubuntu 13.10 for now, like I was when I had my 360 GB external hooked up as a boot drive to my Mac. On the PC, I did the same thing I did over there; went for the manual install (Something Else in the Ubuntu installer) and set up an EFI partition for the bootloader. This allows the motherboard to see the your new boot drive and actually boot off of it.
There are a lot of tutorials on the “[number of things] You Need to Do After Installing Ubuntu!” These articles give you a lot of useful info and I recommend them, however, they fail to mention…
Better, Stronger, Faster
The first thing I do is run the Software Updater after I’ve installed restricted extras and proprietary drivers. I installed Sunday night (Oscar night, a good time to do an install) and all of my updates were sluggish. I have a screaming good connection, so I did some research. Turns out you can specify an alternate mirror for Ubuntu software that’s closer and faster then the Canonical repository.
First, on the Web do a search for Ubuntu software mirrors. Once you have found one that is fast and close, in the Ubuntu Software Center go to Edit —> Software Sources.
Once there you can use the “Download from:” drop down to access the mirror. I am using UC Davis as it is in California and has a Gigabit connection. Software that used to literally take hours now takes minutes to get.
I also think it’s a good idea to tick the Canonical Partners check boxes on the Other Software tab. This will get you access to free, proprietary software, like Skype for Linux, which is not normally available from Canonical.
Only the Defaults
I have had hit and miss success with Chrome lately. Firefox is my choice on Linux, IE 11 on Windows 8 and Safari 7 for OS X Mavericks. Firefox is a good choice on Ubuntu in the Unity Desktop. A lot of sites can install as an icon in the Unity dock for quick access. Ubuntu calls them Web apps but really, they are just your favorites. You do need Firefox, Chrome doesn’t support this integration.
Raise the Stakes
There’re a lot of times you need to move files from one folder to another and you don’t have the rights (in other words, root access). You could open Ubuntu’s file manager, Nautilus by opening a terminal and typing
and your password, but you must keep that elevated window open for any work you want to do until you’re done. Better to use a something that is not easy to get, but works. Open as Administrator.
You need to follow the instructions in this post:
This helped me to copy some files to a location owned by root. Good to have.
I hope that this helps someone out. I do the research so you don’t have to.
I intend to use this as my daily driver for a while. I will let you know what I think, of course.Comments