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Ten sticking points for new Ubuntu users and for old ones

Posted by: Anonymous [ip:] on July 02, 2008 08:40 AM
I install Ubuntu on a variety of older hardware, the best being a P4 2.4GHz 512MB, the "worst" being a P3 1GHz 256MB, and apart from setup issues related to cloning drives, and can say it works perfectly no matter what the hardware or peripherals.

Obviously some technical expertise is required to set up the clone targets. Not too hard but could be made easier with some GUI utilities that would also fix a couple of these points,

To avoid a not found video system the clone source drive is set to "vesa". The set up technician goes to a terminal and types "sudo init 1", In Hardy this brings up a reconfigure X Video system instruction window which finds the video card and screen and sets the video accordingly. On Fiesty the reconfigure command is in the first comments of /etc/X11/xorg.conf. The command "head -15 /etc/X11/xorg.conf" will let you know what to type. Reboot (the lazy method) and the video and screen should be setup. The resolution will have to be changed via the GUI -System - Preferences. Obviously a utility that did all this from System - Administration would be preferable.

Making sure that the swap file is active is another cloning problem and relates to the mounting issue. When cloning, cloned UUIDs are incorrect in fstab, so the source is set to use physical drive names. For SCSI drive names on the same type of hardware as the source this works, but for different hardware the name needs to be set to the older hda name.
I have just tried using psydm as suggested in one of the comments, but found that on my more complex set up with several drives/partitions mounted on the tree that the reported mount points were not the same as those reported by the mount command, listed in fstab. or /proc. Obviously a tool that re-recognises drives and their UUIDs and can mount them either as root or the user and write/change the relevant lines to fstab would be great for everyone.

Apart from this I find Ubuntu easier than Windows, OSX, OpenSUSE, Mandriva or Fedora, and the newbies who obtain the machines I clone think the same for at least one of the above.


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