Ruminations on the Digital Realm

Jan Stedehouder

Ubuntu W2L Edition beta

We are on a countdown to June 1st. Why? Well, we have a contract with a publisher and the publisher expects a complete copy of a book on Linux at that date.

The book targets Windows users who want to migrate to Linux. We started writing when Dapper Drake was still hot and we are wrapping things up now that Feisty Fawn is the talk of the town. That happens when you are writing parttime and run into a couple of snags. For me it will mean a complete rewrite of some chapters simply because Feisty really makes things a lot easier and solves some problems that had to be dealt with before. For the endusers this is a good thing.

We will offer a DVD with the book which contains all software that is discussed. I used most of today to create that DVD. What did I do?

The book uses Ubuntu Linux since it is one of the most userfriendly distributions around with a great community and splendid online documentation. This doesn’t mean there aren’t other suitable distro’s out there, but we had to make a choice. When you want to customize your own Ubuntu version Reconstructor is your friend. It extracts all information from an Ubuntu ISO file or CD. Reconstructor has a nice GUI to customize the look and feel of Ubuntu and to add software, but after some fiddling I did everything through the commandline.

First I added extra repositories to the sources.list. Besides the universe, multiverse and restricted repositories I added the Canonical commercial, the medibuntu and the automatix2 repositories as well. Automatix2 is still under consideration since it is not recommended by Ubuntu and the Ubuntu community and basically all is solved through the other repositories.

From then on it was one big apt-get install series. A short list:

  • – restricted codecs
  • – Java, MP3, Flash etc. through ubuntu-restricted-extras
  • – kubuntu-desktop, xubuntu-desktop and edubuntu-desktop
  • – language packs (Dutch, since the book will be in Dutch)
  • – Picasa, VirtualBox, GoogleEarth and IE4Linux (though I am still struggling with the latter two)
  • – KOffice and Gnome Office, besides over 80 other applications the book will discuss.
  • – Wine and VMware Player. I would like to add VMware Server, but that one requires registration so I need to contact the company first.

The idea is to give a broad introduction into Ubuntu Linux with a wide range of software and spanning the three major desktops. At the same time we want to take into account that not everyone has a broadband connection to download all the extra packages. This also allows W2L migrators to play with everything we discuss in the book without actually having to install Ubuntu on a harddrive.

Do you want to help?

This is the first version of what we might call the Ubuntu W2L edition and I would really appreciate some feedback. There are a few things that need some work. The artwork will change when we have a better idea on the artwork in the book. The menu is quite cluttered and needs to be cleaned up.

But you can help out by downloading the ISO file and test it out on your own box. I know it works on my own box and what I need to do to iron out the problems with the graphics card etc. What I would like to know is how you solve those final issues with graphics cards, sound cards, any peripherals you have and add those solutions to this post. That way I have extra reference material for the chapter that deals with installation. Your help is much appreciated.

<- This will not be the final artwork for the book, just a silly five minute exercise in GIMP.

Tags: Ubuntu

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4 thoughts on “Ubuntu W2L Edition beta

  1. I would definitely not include IES4Linux. As its website says:

    Please, don’t use any of these IEs to navigate!! Get Firefox.

    So I suppose the only reason you would want to include it was if you would also be discussing webdesign, which I assume you don’t. It’s not like it is that difficult to make the switch to Firefox.

  2. Actually, we will discuss webdesign in the book and include Bluefish, Screem and Quanta Plus on the DVD. IE4Linux is included for another reason that is mentioned on the site as well: some sites are optimized for IE alone. Said as it may seem, but even with Firefox as the default and preferred webbrowser IE comes in useful now and then.
    On a side note: I was surprised not to find NVU in the repositories at all.

  3. I haven’t seen an IE-only site for a long while, but I suppose you’re right 😉

    But I do hope you will explicitly mention that it should only be used as an exception for sites that are IE only, but not for general browsing, as the experience is quite less stable.

    NVU is indeed quite a miss (it used to be there in Edgy), but there is , an unofficial bugfix release,

  4. Apparently that link didn’t turn out the way I liked it to be, it was a link to a package for Kompozer, an unofficial bugfix release:

    http://www.getdeb.net/app.php?name=Kompozer

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