Thursday, November 4, 2010

A quick meerkat (Lubuntu 10.10)

As you know, I'm using a minimum-ram laptop at work so the full-blown-bells-and-whistles (read bloated) OS-es are not really an option for me right now, especially as it's the desktop environment that typically hogs the available RAM.

Peppermint's two flavours -- Standard and Ice -- are great, as is Jolicloud 1.0. To these I can now add Light Ubuntu (Lubuntu). Lubuntu is another LXDE environment (the Peppermints are too) with Openbox but the newest release is built upon Ubuntu's meerkat (10.10) whereas the Peppermints are using lucid (10.04).

Lubuntu 10.10 is fast, attractive, and pretty much ideal once you've installed it and added a few tweaks. Since I always use more than one partition on my machines, I encountered a GRUB problem after installing Lubuntu in that I could access other OS-es but not boot from them. The problem was that Lubuntu doesn't install osprober so the startup sequence doesn't see the other partitions. The way to fix this is simple, however. Open a terminal, type

sudo apt-get install os-prober then

and the other systems will be available to select from at the next reboot.

The other tweak is to download a new lubuntu add-on, lubuntu-control-center_0.2_all.deb which is available from the web: This gives you a gui that you can use to modify much of lubuntu's interface.

But there's more:

If you like Peppermint Ice's respin cursors, you can get them from synaptic -- search for dmz-cursors, download and restart.

An easy way to get a terminal is to add (again through synaptic) a little app called guake, which allows you to utilise F12 for this purpose. I've found it very handy.

There's no need for Peppermint's Ice web-app creator, since Lubuntu comes with Chromium as default and you can create your own web-apps by going to a site with the browser, selecting tools, create application shortcuts, and saving the new app directly into your Applications menu.

And, of course, if you choose to add Firefox (not installed with Lubuntu) remember to add my Sifundzani1 Firefox Persona!

Overall, I like the new Lubuntu; and I think its menu behaviour is actually better than Peppermint's at this point. It's also of course very fast.

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