Wednesday, November 23, 2011

How to install Gnome 3 on Ubuntu 11.04

Gnome 3 is the next step in the evolution of the Gnome desktop environment and is a light desktop environment used in many popular Linux distributions. 
Here I'll show you how to install it on Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal.

Attention! If you're doing this inside Unity, you'll break your session. I don't know of a way to revert this process, I did, and I recommend you do this inside Gnome 2 as well, I'm not in any way responsible for your mistakes. You've been warned!

Ok, you've been warned, now lets get down to business, first thing is to do is open a terminal and add the Gnome repository:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:gnome3-team/gnome3

Enter your password when asked and then ENTER. Once the repo is added we update:

sudo apt-get update

Enter your password again if necessary and then ENTER, this may take some 30 seconds depending on your conecction speed, when update is done type:

sudo apt-get dist-upgrade

Again type your password if needed and hit ENTER. You will be asked if you want to upgrade your packages, type Y (yes) and hit ENTER.

We're almost there, once the dist-upgrade is done then we come to the point of this tutorial which is install Gnome, type in terminal (or copy/paste if too lazy)

sudo apt-get install gnome-shell

Type your password and hit ENTER. You'll be asked if you want to install gnome-shell, type Y and hit ENTER.

You're done! Not as colorful as '
The most incredible and really unbelievable dream has become true: You compiled e17 successfully!' (Enlightement fan here ) but GNOME 3 is now installed in your Ubuntu machine. All you have to do now is to reboot your system and choose 'Gnome shell' at the the login screen.

And this is how it looks, enjoy it!

Review image

Review image


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Ubuntu 11.10 'Oneiric Ocelot' on HP nc4200

It's been a couple of years already since i posted my notebook's hardware specifications and my experience installing Ubuntu 7.10 'Gutsy', since then i have loyally upgraded to every new Ubuntu release, Ubuntu has been my distro of choice because HP's original concept was to actually market the nc4200 with Ubuntu so they made sure that all the hardware was 100% Linux compatible  (and believe me, it still is!!)
A few months ago i upgraded the ram to 2 Gb and got a 100 Gb hard drive before upgrading to 10.10 'Maverick' and just a couple of weeks ago i upgraded the same notebook to Ubuntu 11.10 'Oneiric Ocelot' which is running perfect.
One thing i don't like from the latest Ubuntu releases is the Unity interface, it feels like a huge smart phone and i just couldn't work comfortably with it, so i kept using Gnome 2 and waited (un)patiently for Gnome 3 to be released.
When i upgraded to 11.04 i read with great pleasure that Gnome 3 was released so i happily made the necessary arrangements to upgrade to this long awaited release.
Gnome 3 is great, it's interface is a bit like Unity but you find your way around much faster... at least i do.  Coming to think of it, if Gnome 3 looks and works as good or even better than Unity, why didn't Canonical stick with Gnome and saved themselves the whole work of developing Unity? 

Well, there are a lot of happy Unity users too so kudos Canonical for developing another way to customize our desktop :-)
While running on 11.04 Gnome 3 was lacking a bit of performance but after upgrading to 11.10 it's performance improved a lot and G3's interface is very pleasant and user friendly, if you still want to customize Gnome 3 beyond what configuration editor allows you'll need the Gnome Tweak Tool to do so.
To sum it all up, the Oneiric Ocelot / Gnome 3 combo is great, and my notebook is a perfect example that you don't need the latest, most expensive and fastest hardware to run the latest Linux releases efficiently, so you can keep your hard-earned cash for more important things :-)

How to re-enable wireless in Ubuntu 11.10

Yesterday while checking settings on my laptop i accidentally switched the wireless lan off -Stupid me- i thought, but as i tried to switch it back on it didn't work!
Wtf??? was my first thought, i clicked on the enable button but nothing happened, i also notice that the 'Airplane mode' button was enabled, so i switch that one off and tried the wlan again button without success.
So i put on my Google and dived into the net, within minutes i got an answer and a few minutes later i had everything working again, there were a few option how to deal with this, but i managed to fix my problem using only two commands, see graphic below:

To check if wireless is blocked, we use the 'rfkill list' command, in my case, '0: hp-wifi' is the interesting part of the output. When wireless was blocked it showed 'Soft blocked: yes' (sorry, screenshot was made after everything was fixed) in order to unblock it enter the next command 'rfkill unblock wifi'.
In my case that's all i had to do, no reboot, no nothing else, nada, there were other, more complicated methods to get around this issue but probably because of my laptop's hardware i didn't have to do anything else (lucky me!!)