Monday, February 25, 2013

Today's Linux #3


Installing Linux on my Desktop

     The biggest switch I hadn't made yet was moving Linux to my desktop computer. A mix between not wanting to delete the 500g's of data, and still having an attachment to my Steam account has kept me from taking the plunge. 
     Today though, I decided to make a 200g partition and install Xubuntu (my current favorite flavor of Ubuntu) on it, for those situations where the power of the laptop just won't do.
     I don't have a DVD bay in my desktop, I just don't use them at all. So my first order of business was to get a boot-able USB, which I used 'uNetbootin' to do. It's really a bit disappointing when you get down to it...all this time you assume that installing Linux, and configuring Linux, and anything Linux is this big complicated thing; But then you realize that almost everything is so laid out for you. Do you want to install Windows XP from a USB? Yeah...good luck with that. Oh you want to install Linux from one? Here is everything you need, simple directions, a nice little gui tool, and support for pretty much any distribution
     And installing a system from flash storage is super quick, so withing 15 minutes I was ready to go, booted into Xubuntu.
     First thing I did was set both the top and bottom panels to auto-hide. This is great, once you realize how much space those two little things take up, and if you do want to access them, mousing over to pull the bar back to focus is quick.
     Next, I updated my machine, and like I described in an earlier post, that is condensed into a nice little tool. 
     Finally, for the first time, I installed some of the proprietary drivers for my HD 6870s. I was a little wary about how stable of a system I was going to have once the drivers were installed, as I've heard absolute horror stories about them, but once again the whole shebang was simple and quick.
     Within thirty minutes I had Xubuntu running at full capacity, to my liking. 

     The R.A.T 7 Gaming Mouse and Linux

     Not only do I take pride in my tower, and the meticulous effort I put in to building it. I also enjoy some of the best peripherals on the market. I have a mechanical keyboard, a great Logitech 7.1 headset (or 5.1, I can't remember), and a 1080p monitor. I also boast a mouse that I've had for about 4 years now; The R.A.T 7 gaming mouse. It looks like a transformer.
     It's horrible in Linux. I don't know whether it's not working, or what's wrong. It'll let you click on a few windows before, suddenly and without reason, it'll perma-focus on a random window on screen. Sometimes it's the browser window, sometimes it's a panel, sometimes it's the desktop. When this happens, there are no combinations of buttons to escape, no button you can press on the mouse to save is a black hole and you've crossed the event horizon my friend. Every action just digs you deeper toward the center, toward the singularity...err...sorry I've been reading a lot of Astronomy papers lately.
     What's worse is, the fix listed online is to add a line to your xorg.conf file. xorg.conf? Wasn't that phased out in like...10.04? 
     The only way to fix the issue, and it's temporary and very stupid; You press ctrl+alt+backspace to return to the log in screen, then log back in. Yep, that's it! Then the mouse not only works fine, but it ceases the focus issue until the next reboot. 
     I'm going to spend the next few days in my free time trying to figure out what replaced xorg, and to see if I can append the needed information to it. If anyone knows of a fix, please email me or leave a comment here! Cheers!


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  2. Bit of searching on the Ubuntu forums led me to this guide: (Posts #3 & 4.)

    It looks like xorg.conf was replace with a folder located here: /usr/share/X11/xorg.conf.d/ So now its a directory of configurations for different devices.

    Really cool that we're both exploring Linux Desktops at the same time. ^_^ I've been digging into LXDE's source code to see if I can submit some patches. (Sticking with XFCE in the meantime.) Anyway, hope the guide helps and good luck getting the mouse to work!