Hardy Heron Makes Me Happy

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Yesterday, I replaced the hard drive in one of my laptops. Everything was under warranty, so no problems there. Now that I have a brand spanking new hard-drive I figured I would take advantage of its innocence, and partition off a section for the anticipated release of Ubuntu 8.04 … aka Hardy Heron.

What a great call. Of course, I went ahead and installed the OEM Vista on a 60 gig partition, simple to do using the recovery disks provided by Toshiba. For the record, it is very important that you install the Microsoft Windows OS first if you plan on dual booting with , so you can rewrite the micro$oft boot manager with the more friendly boot manager. Basically, you aren’t under time constraints to choose which OS you want to boot at startup.

Today, I fidgeted with excitement as I booted up my clean Vista install, and as a first task on this windows machine, immediately browsed to Ubuntu.com to download Hardy Heron. Unfortunately, I was one of many people (stats yet to be released, but it must have been a lot), and the ubuntu site was down.. Argonne National Laboratory was downloading at 15KBs and University of Maryland was at about 30KBs… I ended up using the Ubuntu mirror at Georgia Tech. Software Library which was running at about 140KBs over my 3G HTC phone, and I downloaded the 699MB file in about 2 hours.

After downloading the file, I made sure to burn a DISK IMAGE..very important, do not burn a data CD, burn as an IMAGE. I then shut down my computer, rebooted with the disk in, and was greeted with the Ubuntu install screen. I followed all of the prompts, and when it asked me about partitioning, I selected manual and made the following adjustments. I set a new partition of 50 gigs for Ubuntu install, and I also created a 4 gig swap partition… a clever little trick that helps speed things up a bit. I then wrapped up the install, let it do its thing, and now I have a FREE desktop operating system that not only took less time to install than Vista (1 hr vs. 2.5) but has more functionality.. at least for what I need it for.

I’ll follow up in a few to let you all know how my experience has gone. Considering Ubuntu’s track record of operating systems, I’m sure this one will be just as impressive. I hear, though I’m yet to experience, that there are some small driver support issues for laptops.

Just as a general note.. if you have some old laptop somewhere with windows 95 on it, you can easily wipe the hard-drive and get an install of Hardy Heron going that will perform almost as well as a new machine running windows. Linux is such a lightweight system that it doesn’t require all of the processing power and space as a microsoft system does. Granted I’m sure I will always have at least one copy of windows running within arms reach, if for the sake of compatibility alone.

UPDATE:
I personally have not had any driver issues, though a friend of mine with an ATI graphics card has experienced a small issue. I have an Intel graphics card, which is pretty versatile.

If you have the ATI card, you simply go to System -> Administration -> Software Sources and enable the repository for restricted software. Then go back into your drivers, and you should be able to select and update without a problem.. you can use the tutorial here -> Every Flavor Beans

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Posted in Technology | 10 Comments »

  • Parker

    I just want to note that you may have slightly misrepresented the idea of a swap partition. It’s not just a nifty little trick, it’s quite important. The size of the partition is not just an arbitrary number. Some variance is fine, but a good rule is to match the amount of ram in the system. ie. 2GB ram = 2GB swap

  • Parker

    I just want to note that you may have slightly misrepresented the idea of a swap partition. It’s not just a nifty little trick, it’s quite important. The size of the partition is not just an arbitrary number. Some variance is fine, but a good rule is to match the amount of ram in the system. ie. 2GB ram = 2GB swap

  • Anon

    Well, swap space is swap space. The system will use it when it runs out of RAM. If you have a lot of RAM and don’t run intensive applications, swap space is basically not used. Swap space won’t speed anything up; all it will do is keep applications running if there’s no RAM to be had (otherwise the kernel starts killing applications). In the average system today, there is very little need for swap space.

  • Anon

    Well, swap space is swap space. The system will use it when it runs out of RAM. If you have a lot of RAM and don’t run intensive applications, swap space is basically not used. Swap space won’t speed anything up; all it will do is keep applications running if there’s no RAM to be had (otherwise the kernel starts killing applications). In the average system today, there is very little need for swap space.

  • http://tastevine.com Jake

    @Parker.. you do make a great point, but I have to agree with Anon re: its definitely not required with an install, but it can drastically improve the performance of your machine if you are running on low system resources. E.g. an old laptop you pulled out of the closet with 512MB of ram. It is good to know about the ram = swap size, as I had been informed that you could go as much as double your ram without any problems.

  • http://tastevine.com Jake

    @Parker.. you do make a great point, but I have to agree with Anon re: its definitely not required with an install, but it can drastically improve the performance of your machine if you are running on low system resources. E.g. an old laptop you pulled out of the closet with 512MB of ram. It is good to know about the ram = swap size, as I had been informed that you could go as much as double your ram without any problems.

  • joe

    Hardy heron on a computer that shipped with Windows 95?

    Wow…did you ever actually try that? Xubuntu 7.04 on a toshiba laptop (P2 with 164MB RAM ) that originally shipped with Win 98 took almost two hours to install using the alternate cd (I thought it was going to blow up from the strain) And it ran so slow it was terrible.The only thing that runs on it is wolvix .DSL would run on a system like that butInever got the video mode right. I just installed Kubuntu 8.04 on a hp desktop with P4 2.6 Ghz ,500 MB RAM and I’m finding it’s slower than 7.04 and Mint Daryna KDE .

  • joe

    Hardy heron on a computer that shipped with Windows 95?

    Wow…did you ever actually try that? Xubuntu 7.04 on a toshiba laptop (P2 with 164MB RAM ) that originally shipped with Win 98 took almost two hours to install using the alternate cd (I thought it was going to blow up from the strain) And it ran so slow it was terrible.The only thing that runs on it is wolvix .DSL would run on a system like that butInever got the video mode right. I just installed Kubuntu 8.04 on a hp desktop with P4 2.6 Ghz ,500 MB RAM and I’m finding it’s slower than 7.04 and Mint Daryna KDE .

  • http://grapethinking.com jake

    Hi Joe,

    Try ubuntu instead of xubuntu or kubuntu.. I’m guessing there are some driver issues with not using the gnome graphics display.. . (I only have experience setting up ubuntu on an old 95 machine) FYI.. it will take longer to install if you only hvae 164m or ram.. it took an hour on my Toshiba Satellite machine with 2 gigs.

  • http://grapethinking.com jake

    Hi Joe,

    Try ubuntu instead of xubuntu or kubuntu.. I’m guessing there are some driver issues with not using the gnome graphics display.. . (I only have experience setting up ubuntu on an old 95 machine) FYI.. it will take longer to install if you only hvae 164m or ram.. it took an hour on my Toshiba Satellite machine with 2 gigs.

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