Sunday, September 30, 2007

Ubuntu 7.10 Gutsy Gibbon Beta Overview

A quick note from redDEAD:
This is an outdated article, please refer to my new overview of Ubuntu 7.10 Gusty Gibbon. This article talks only about the Beta and is missing a bunch of updates, the new article covers everything you'll need to know and do to get Ubuntu 7.10 running on your Dell Inspiron 1501.


I installed the beta of Gutsy Gibbon today, so far I'm in love.

The LiveCD doesn't load correctly. To install Gutsy you need to load Start Ubuntu in Safe Graphic Mode at the LiveCD splash screen. From there you just need to install normally.

Works out of the box. Once you sudo apt-get update Gutsy, the Restricted Manager (System>Administration) can install the the firmware for the Broadcom 43xx card in the Dell 1501. Once it downloads the deb, just select the grab the firmware from the web option and in four clicks wi-fi works.

ATI Proprietary Driver:
ATI's 8.37.6 fglrx driver is automatically installed, configured and 3D enabled with the Restricted Driver Manager (System>Administration). It's Faster and more responsive than the Feisty's 8.34.8 fglrx driver. Compiz-Fusion is running really well.

Easiest Compiz install ever. Compiz-Fusion is enabled by default, so all you have to do is sudo apt-get install xserver-xgl compizconfig-settings-manager and Gutsy will configure and setup your Xgl session. Log out and back in and run Compiz-Fusion (compiz --replace) and your desktop effects work. To configure Compiz's options run ccsm.

Media Codecs
Gutsy like Feisty makes codec installation easy, no more automatix or struggling with adding repos. mp3, DVD, avi, aac, mpeg, wmv, asf, mov, flv, mp4, flash codecs are installed when you try to play them. The only thing not enabled is reading encrypted DVDs. For an easy codec install just sudo apt-get install gstreamer0.10-plugins-ugly-multiverse gstreamer0.10-plugins-bad-multiverse gstreamer0.10-plugins-bad gstreamer0.10-plugins-ugly gstreamer0.10-ffmpeg libxine1-ffmpeg libdvdread3

Works out of the box.

Card Reader:

Works out of the box.

Brightness & Volume:
Works out of the box, so far I've only been able to confirm this with the 1.7 BIOS.

Video Out:
Works out of the box, Gutsy's Screens and Resolutions (System>Administration) makes using multiple monitors a breeze. Configuration doesn't require editing your xorg.conf file.

Suspend & Hibernate:
Doesn't work, my gut is telling me it has to do with a restarting the xserver at login error Feisty also had. I discussed the solution here. Hopefully one of us will figure it out. It is either a matter of finding out how to restart the xserver at login or a BIOS issue. I'm BIOS 1.7, let me know if you get different results with different BIOS version.

Doesn't work, Dell's driver isn't compatible with Gutsy's kernel. Dell is readying it's fixes for Gutsy. Modem deb should be out when Gutsy hits or shortly after.

Overall Ubuntu 7.10 Gutsy Gibbon looks like a great step in the right direction for Dell Inspiron 1501 users. Setup and execution is n00b friendly and extremely easy. I highly recommend you check it out and even recommend installing it. You can find the iso HERE
edited by pHreaksYcle

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Problem with the Ubuntu 7.10 Gutsy Gibbon Beta

To install the Gutsy beta on the Dell 1501, select the Start Ubuntu in Safe Graphic Mode. Once in you just have to install Gutsy normally and when you restart everything works perfectly. Problem solved.

First thing I did when I walked into the door today was download the Gutsy beta. Popped it into my Dell Inspiron 1501 and was treated to a really nice login screen. Unfortunately the login screen is as far as I got. The five Gutsy alphas didn't load on the Dell 1501 either. Looks like 1501 owners are going to have to wait a bit to enjoy Ubuntu 7.10

As soon as I figure/find out what's going on I'm gonna blog about it. There is a bug report for the alphas but its not very descriptive besides the fact that it doesn't work.

I received an error about Nautilus (Gnome's file manager) not loading. I'm going to test the beta CD this weekend and post anything I find on launchpad and here.

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news.
edited by pHreaksYcle

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Does Anyone Use the Microphone?

Sergio de la Cruz asked:
"My microphone does not work. I don't know why. Some people here tells that it works OK. Can you guide me to the proper audio configuration for it to work?"

Can anyone out there tell me if their microphone works and if they had to do anything special to get it working? I left my 1501 in the office and I'm lazy. Thanks!
edited by pHreaksYcle

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Using Your Apple iPod in Ubuntu

This guide works with all iPods models except iPod classics, iPod Video Nano and iPod Touch. Apple has updated it's cryptographic "checksum" in their song databases for these models. This means third-party applications are no longer able to sync your music, video & pictures to these devices. The good news is that the older iPods are fully compatible with 3rd party applications.

I love my iPod and I love Ubuntu so these guides are definitely a labor of love for me. I find that the iPod works great in Ubuntu. I use 3 programs in Ubuntu for syncing my iPod; gtkpod, GPixPod and Amarok.

gtkpod is a platform independent Graphical User Interface for Apple's iPod using GTK2. It supports the first to fifth Generation including the iPod mini, iPod Photo, iPod Shuffle, iPod nano, and iPod Video. It allows you to sync you iPod in Linux. Some of it's features include importing the existing contents of your iPod including play counts, ratings and on-the-go playlists, adding MP3, WAV, M4A, M4B, podcasts, and video files to your iPod and allowing you to view, add and modify cover art and playlists.

To get gtkpod
in a terminal type:
sudo apt-get install gtkpod-aac

GPixPod is a new PyGTK application to organize photos and photo albums on your photo capable iPod models. Its approach to modify manually the elements in the Photo Database of your iPod could be also more useful than the syncing-only method of iTunes. For Linux users gpixpod is an excellent complement to gtkpod and amarok. While these two programs do an excellent job of syncing music, album art and video to your iPod neither do pictures and I haven't been able to find another program in Linux/Ubuntu that does all four; music, video, album art and pictures.

To get gpixpod
In a terminal type:
sudo apt-get install gpixpod

Amarok a fantasic music player for Linux and Unix with an intuitive interface. Amarok not only makes playing the music you love easy, but also allows you to organize a library of music into folders according to genre, artist, and album, edit tags attached to most music formats, associate album art, attach lyrics, and automatically "score" music as you play it. It is seen as Linux's major iTunes alternative and in many people's opinions an iTunes killer. It allows you to look up album via Amazon, sync music, podcasts and audiobooks. Amarok does not do video or pictures, but it's such an amazing jukebox that I don't mind using other apps to take care of it's shortcomings.

To get Amarok, ipod support and mp3 support
In a terminal type:
sudo apt-get install amarok ipodslave libxine1-ffmpeg
edited by pHreaksYcle

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

AMD/ATI to Open Source Video Drivers

Source: From Christopher Blizzard's Blog: Invisible Sandwich

AMD, ATI's parent company, has been promising better video driver support for the Linux community for the past year. While driver updates have been monthly and the ATI's fglx driver has gotten much better, development still has been slow, closed and proprietary. AMD has now decided to open source their drivers and has promised the these two things:
  • To develop of a fully functional 2D and 3D driver that supports all of their newer radeon chipsets. This will be done in full collaboration with the open source community and will have the direct participation of hackers from companies like Red Hat and Novell.
  • To release documentation that anyone can use to build and support drivers for their chips.
This means that not only will Red Hat & Novell hackers be able to work on the driver, but anybody will be able to contribute to the code. Once the drivers do go open source, we should see vast improvements quickly.
edited by pHreaksYcle

Running uTorrent in Ubuntu

Make sure you have Wine installed before you try to run uTorrent.

To install Wine:
Add Wine's repositories to your source list:
sudo wget -O /etc/apt/sources.list.d/winehq.list

Add the repository key:
wget -q -O- | sudo apt-key add -

Update apt-get:
sudo apt-get update

Install Wine:
sudo apt-get install wine

Download uTorrent

Make uTorrent hidden
mv utorrent.exe .utorrent

To launch uTorrent use the command
wine ~/.utorrent

To get firefox to automatically open uTorrent when clicking on torrent links

sudo gedit /usr/bin/utorrent

Paste the following into the newly opened text file:

cd ~/

if [ "$1" != "" ]; then
var="`echo $1 | sed 's/\//\\\/g'`"
wine .utorrent "$var"
wine .utorrent
save it & close

Make the script you just wrote executable
sudo chmod a+x /usr/bin/utorrent

Now, go into Firefox and download a torrent. Choose "open with" and hit "browse" on the list, and navigate to /usr/bin and choose uTorrent.

To learn a little more about what bittorrenting is, how it works or where to find torrents; check out my guide here
edited by pHreaksYcle

Make Your Own Papercraft Tux


Download the pattern here

If you want to make a little tux companion for your Dell 1501. It's as easy as printing out on heavier paper, cutting and gluing. Send me your pics!
edited by pHreaksYcle