Monday, May 14, 2012

Ubuntu Precise Pangolin

I installed Ubuntu Precise Pangolin (amd64) on a separate partition today. The installation went well, with the usual black screen problem.

The amd64 build felt speedier for most applications compared to the i386 build..

I was unimpressed with Unity and so I proceeded to get back the Gnome 2 look and feel by following the instructions here.

Make sure that sources are up to date:
$ sudo apt-get update

Install the gnome fallback:
$ sudo apt-get install gnome-session-fallback
Logout, select Gnome Classic using the gear icon, and then login.

I replaced lightdm with the more awesome gdm:
$ sudo apt-get install gdm
$ sudo apt-get purge lightdm

Install aptitude, gdebi (so faciliate future .deb installations) and synaptic
$ sudo apt-get install aptitude gdebi synaptic

Remove the annoying global app-menu
$ sudo apt-get purge appmenu-gtk appmenu-gtk3 appmenu-qt indicator-appmenu

Remove Unity (Woots!)
$ sudo apt-get remove unity-lens-music unity-lens-applications unity-greeter unity-common unity-asset-pool unity-2d-launcher unity-2d libunity-misc4 libunity-2d-private0 gir1.2-unity-4.0

Remove the semi-invisible overlay scrollbar
$ sudo apt-get purge liboverlay-scrollbar-0.2-0 liboverlay-scrollbar3-0.2-0 overlay-scrollbar appmenu-gtk appmenu-gtk3 appmenu-qt indicator-appmenu

Remove compiz (I dislike special effects)
$ sudo apt-get remove compiz compiz-plugins-main-default libcompizconfig0

Install gconf so we can change the min,max,close buttons to the right:
$ sudo apt-get install gconf-editor
Run gconf-editor in terminal and look for the path  /apps/metacity/general in the tree.
Change the value of button_layout to ":minimize,maximize,close"

Following advice from here, I proceeded to install the cool weather indicator and multiload indicator.
sudo apt-get install indicator-weather indicator-multiload

Now, restart your computer.
Note: I did not install gnome-shell.
I proceeded to make more tweaks:

I installed my favorite Gnome-Do.
$ sudo apt-get install gnome-do
After install, you can start it from Applications -> Accessories -> Gnome Do
It should load on start up and it can be activated via super+space.

I brought back the Alt+F2 shortcut for the run dialog:
Bring up Keyboard window -> Shortcuts (tab).
Look for System -> "Show the run command prompt".
Change the value to Alt+F2.

I installed mscorefonts.
Bring up Synaptic Package Manager. Look for ttf-mscorefonts-installer.
Also installed Mac Fonts (e.g. Lucida Grande)

I also installed the awesome zsh and Google Chrome, and nautilus-open-terminal.

Finally, as my screen is 2 pixels off, I brought up Display and changed the resolution from 1368x768 to 1366x768.

Current problems:
1. xrandr gives me "xrandr: Failed to get size of gamma for output default"
2. Can't connect to external monitor.
Solved: [source]
The trick is to use "acpi_osi=Linux acpi_backlight=vendor" during the boot phase.
This works:
$ sudo sed "s/\(GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX=\)\"\"/\1\"acpi_osi=Linux acpi_backlight=vendor\"/" /etc/default/grub -i 
$ sudo update-grub
# reboot now

War Story Update:
On a second attempt at configuring Ubuntu 12.04 (Precise) using the above steps, I ran into some problems due to failing to remove compiz completely. The menu bar for windows disappeared and key bindings such appeared to be misconfigured. I then removed compiz via the Ubuntu Software Center and all things were OK after that.

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