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I keep upgrading my Home PC with better peripherals to make it to breathe better for long time. The recent one is a nVidia Graphics card of model 6200A – 256MB – 8X from Zebronics. I got it from ebay for Rs.2000 ($47) which is 7 months old. Now my PC configuration is

Intel PIII/850MHz, Intel 82815 Chipset, PC133 450MB, nVidia 6200A 256MB, 20+10 GB HDD

I have installed Ubuntu 7.04 (Feisty Fawn) for home productive purpose. Here is the steps I did to install this Graphics card in Ubuntu.

1. Plugged-in the Graphics card in AGP Slot of motherboard. (This card is AGP 8X speed, though my motherboard (Intel 82815) supports upto 4X AGP only. Since nvidia cards are backward compatible, it fits perfect with my motherboard) Connected the monitor to D-SUB connector of this card.

2. Booted the machine. Bios automatically detected the AGP Card and switched over the default display to this card.

3. No GUI desktop login manager. X windows failed due to mismatch between current display hardware and existing /etc/X11/xorg.conf. xorg.conf has entries for Intel i810 driver which is built-in graphics chip.

4. Looking into the xorg.conf, I came to know the following command to reconfigure the X server.

5. $ sudo dpkg-reconfigure -phigh xserver-xorg

6. $ sudo /etc/init.d/gdm restart

7. Just logged into my gnome desktop. At this stage this card is driven by open source driver called “nv”.

8. I wanted to check the power of this card. So clicked System->Preferences->Desktop Effects. I was offered to enable and install proprietory nvidia driver to get better performance. I said yes. It installed “nvidia-glx” driver from restricted repository.Then it prompted for reboot.

9. Upon reboot, it is performing wonderful. I checked both compiz and beryl window managers, both work well.

Note: If Ubuntu is able to detect the newly plugged-in graphics card and configure the xorg.conf accordingly, it would be wonderful. Hope in the future version we can expect it.

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I have created a simple Ubuntu wallpaper based on concept of Ubuntu’s parent Debian’s logo.

I am sure everyone who read this blog regularly knows that I am running Ubuntu on my production system. Ubuntu’s performance, features, and all blah.. blah.. all every one in this tux world knows. So I want to present here what I customize in my shiny new Ubuntu 7.04 (Feisty Fawn). I took just 3 hours to install and customize the entire desktop.

Additional applications installed:
acroread(.deb), mplayer, realplayer(.bin), vlc, audacity, xmms, vmware, webhttrack, opera(.deb), gcolor2, brasero, tuxpaint, wammu, gmobilemedia(.deb), lbreakout2, barrage, childsplay, circuslinux, gcompris, frozen-bubble, sbackup, ubuntu-restricted-extra, dvdcss, aria2, tamil fonts, chm viewer, gstreamer ffmpeg video codecs, rar, Rainlendar(.tar), ubuntu theme for firefox.

Configurations:

  • irda-start.sh (related packages installed) – This is my custom script, which loads all necessary modules for my USB-IrDA dongle to communicate with my mobile.
  • Tamil web site specific additional Tamil fonts and Mac Fonts installation.
  • Unnecessary services disabling.
  • Evolution removed.
  • IPV6 disabled.
  • /etc/hosts [*updated] with hostname entry for faster application opening
  • UbuntuHuman skin for xmms

My default applications:
1. Browser – Firefox (Extensions: Fasterfox, VideoDownloader)
2. EMail – GMail with firefox
3. Feed reader – Google Reader with firefox
4. Task manager – Rainlendar
5. Calendar – Rainlendar
6. CD Burning – Brasero
7. Mobile – Wammu/gmobilemedia
8. PDF – Evince
9. Real audio/movies – Real player 10
10. AudioCD/VCD/DVD – Totem (Failsafe is VLC/MPlayer)
12. MP3 Player – xmms
13. Audio Recording – Audacity
14. Download manager – aria2
15. Download photos from Camera – gtkam
16. Album viewer – gThumb
17. Text, Spreadsheet & Presentation – OpenOffice
18. Notes – Tomboy
19. Home partition backup – sbackup
20. Photo edit – GIMP
21. default application configuration for detecting VCD,DVD – Totem (failsafe is VLC/MPlayer)
22. default application configuration for Camera detection – gtkam
23. default application configuration for CD-Burning – brasero

Screenshot:

screenshot.png

Enabling Tamil input method on Ubuntu Linux 6.06 LTD (Dapper Drake) is so sweet and simple. Here is an HowTo on that. It involves three steps:

1. Enabling Extra Repositories:

  • System -> Administration -> Synaptic Package Manager
    1. Settings -> Repositories
    2. In the Installation Media tab, click Add. There are three separate repositories; Dapper Drake, Security Updates and Updates. Select each repository and check Officially supported, Restricted copyright, Community maintained (Universe) and Non-free (Multiverse). Ensure you click OK between each repository to save your changes
    3. You should now see those three repositories under Channels. Make sure Officially supported, Restricted copyright, Community maintained (Universe) and Non-free (Multiverse) appears under each repository
    4. To refresh the list of known packages (equivalent to apt-get update)
      • Edit Menu ->Reload Package Information

2. Installing Tamil Fonts

Search for following packages in Synaptic Package Manager and install the same with all dependencies:

1. ttf-tamil-fonts
3. Installing SCIM Input Method

Search for following packages in Synaptic Package Manager and install the same with all dependencies:

1. scim 2. scim-gtk2-immodule 3. scim-tables-additional

How to type in Tamil:

1. Open Gedit Editor through Applications -> Accessories -> Text Editor.

2. Right-click at Text area, select Input Method -> SCIM Input

3. You can notice a small toolbar at the bottom right of the screen. Select Tamil Keyboard layout from the menu on that toolbar.

4. Start typing in the text editor. You will get Tamil characters.

Happy editing hours with Tamil. Let us take Tamil to next generation!

Note: I don’t have access to Ubuntu right now. So any correction and omissions on this posting is welcome.

I have installed the following OS on my PC of following configuration.

Hardware: PIII-800MHz/192MB/20GB/Intel 82815 Video
OS: Ubuntu 6.06 / Suse 10.1 / Fedora 5 / Debian 3.1

I have installed all these OS, with mostly same configuration (2.6 kernel/ GNOME interface, services…). I have not done any tweak. Here is my observation with ranking. This ranking is based on performance on my PC only.
Rank 4. Suse 10.1:
Installation – slow, Eye candy desktop, Monitor not recognized properly.
After installation – Very slow desktop
Rank 3. Fedora Core 5:
Installation – dead slow, wonderful X configuration
After installation no X, due to issue in locale setting
Rank 2: Debian 3.1:
Installation: Easy and fast first phase installation, second phase installtion after reboot failed (but managed with apt-get manually, package selection interface is not user friendly
After installation – Cool, wide range of applications
Rank 1: Ubuntu 6.06:
Installation: crashing but managed through command line (using fdisk, mkswap and swapon), installation speed is normal
After installation – Fast, Cool, eyecandy, high performance.

Moral: Good installation method does not mean good desktop performance. Ubuntu wins!