My avatar across the web: a photo of my feet in grey-white socks and brown sandals.

Ben Babcock

I read, write, code, and knit.

No luck with Linux

Every time I try to get Kubuntu working, I become more and more convinced that Kubuntu just doesn't want to be friends with me. It's always a mixed bag. It's not all Kubuntu's fault--it's a very nice Linux distro, functions well--sometimes I'm to blame. Still, the learning curve--and the bumps along the way--are disheartening.

Yesterday I decided to do a clean install of Kubuntu 7.10 ("Gutsy Gibbon"). My hard drive was already partitioned because I had Feisty installed, but I didn't have the time to devote to learning how to use Feisty properly. Unfortunately, the installation decided that I had burnt the disc at too high a disc speed--but it didn't tell me this until 63% of the installation was done. As a result, Grub was destroyed, and I couldn't boot into Windows. I had to download the image again on another computer and burn it to my last CD-R at a lower speed. Then I ran the install again and prayed it would work.

Luckily it did. Kubuntu started up fine, and the wireless worked out of the box, which really impressed me--it didn't with Feisty. All of my monitor's screen resolutions weren't available, however, so I decided to reconfigure xorg. Big mistake. After reconfiguring, I restarted X and was faced with this lovely error "Fatal error: no screen found." :'( Why me?!

Perhaps it's my fault for having a computer whose hardware doesn't play nice? (Googling reveals that other Inspiron 6400 users with ATI video cards have faced similar troubles.) This is the part of Kubuntu that has always frustrated me: each problem leads to another set of problems, to the point where I can't use the system as a production environment. I would love to use Kubuntu as much as or more than Windows. I don't have the time to spend fixing every single problem, unfortunately. Each time this happens, I ask myself why I even bother. :(

I won't give up on Gutsy yet. If, when I next boot into Kubuntu, the wireless still doesn't work, I can always do a clean install and start over and try to work it out from there. I will do my end of the work: I will search, read the documentation, and look for solutions, since it's clear my situation is not unique. I just hope that my efforts reward me.

UPDATE: Well, I haven't solved my resolution problem yet, but everything else seems to be going well. Firefox is working, got my bookmarks, Flash, and Java working fine. Tomorrow if I have time, I shall look into some themes for Kopete, configure Konversation, play around with a few other things. Oh yeah. And fix this darn resolution problem!