In May 2008 I finally bit the bullet and decided to install Kubuntu on my small laptop. It is an older Fujitsu Lifebook with a Transmeta Crusoe chip with 256MB or RAM, so it struggles a bit to run Windows XP.
I opted for the Ubuntu desktop CD install, but this basically doesn’t work with limited RAM. The CD drive keeps thrashing and nothing happens.
The solution is to download and burn the Ubuntu minimum install, then boot it from the CD drive. You may need to change the boot sequence in your bios settings to do this.
The minimal install brings up a character interface that steps you through the installation process during which you can select various components and applications to include.
I opted for the Kubuntu desktop, as I think the KDE desktop is more user friendly than the Gnome desktop that Ubuntu includes.
Getting wifi working
With the system up and running, the next task was to get the Belkin wifi card going. This proved to be a real challenge. I tried numerous times to install the Ndiswrapper program which allows you to use the Windows drivers for the card by emulation, but I just couldn’t get it to work.
Some welcome help from the Kubuntu forum directed me to install the b43-fwcutter package, which worked like a charm.
Use the sudo command to install new packages such as:
sudo apt-get install b43-cutter
Or use either the provided Adept package manager (available on the Start menu, but did not list b43-fwcutter), or install the Synaptic package manager (which did list the b43-fwcutter package) and use it instead.
Fixing a bug when accessing HTML files from Dolphin
Kubuntu includes the Dolphin file explorer program rather than the previous Konqueror program (which is still available). Both these programs perform a similar function to Windows Explorer – such as finding, copying, moving and deleting files in various locations on your computer.
I found an annoying bug in Dolphin: when you try to click on an HTML file you get the error:
The desktop entry file /usr/share/apps/d3lphin/servicemenus/amarok_addaspodcast.desktop has an invalid menu entry addAsPodcast.
cd /usr/share/apps/d3lphin/servicemenus/ sudo mv amarok_addaspodcast.desktop amarok_addaspodcast.desktop_
This appears to be caused by a bug in Dolphin. You can work around this by renaming a file used by Amarok using the following commands in the Kconsole (terminal):
This seems to be a fairly simple bug which should be fixed.
For more information on this:
Installing Firefox 2
Kubuntu Hardy Heron 8.04 comes with Firefox 3 beta 5 installed. Unfortunately, many Firefox extensions I now regard as essential don’t yet work on Firefox 3. So I installed Firefox 2 using this command:
sudo apt-get install firefox-2
Firefox 3 and Firefox 2 don’t seem to coexist too well, so after you do this it is best just to run Firefox 2. I initially couldn’t install any extensions. To fix this, I had to remove these files from my Firefox user profile folder:
My favourite Firefox extensions are:
- Add Bookmark Here
- Copy URL + (this one is out of development, but I use it all the time)
- del.icio.us (absolute must have)
- English (Australian) Dictionary
- googlebar (use to search for text within a website)
- Statusbar Clock
- Google notebook
- Gmail manager (I use this a lot)
- Kubuntu forums
- Ubuntu minimum install (includes Kubuntu install option)
- b43 – Linux Wireless b43 and b43legacy wireless drivers.
- Linux on Desktop: Things to do on your new Ubuntu 8.04 Hard Heron Installation
- The Official Ubuntu Book, Kubuntu Chapter