Ubuntu 8.10 Intrepid 64-bit Problems

12 11 2008

After using Ubuntu some more I’ve run into a few new problems with no solution. If anyone has any advice, leave a comment. If I happen to find a solution I’ll edit the post and add it to the end.

First off I’m using a Canon iP1800 printer, and there appears to be no 64-bit drivers for it. I found some 32-bit drivers for it and attempted to install them using getlibs, but nothing seemed to happen. If I try and just run the deb files I end up with an “incorrect architecture error”. No solution found yet, Googling just reveals lots of people with the same problem and the only solution seeming to be switching to 32-bit Ubuntu or using a generic Inkjet printer driver which doesn’t perform well at all on this printer.

Second, there is no 64-bit Sun Java plugin for Firefox. If you try and install it on 64-bit with apt-get you get the following error,

Package sun-java6-plugin is not available, but is referred to by another package.
This may mean that the package is missing, has been obsoleted, or
is only available from another source
E: Package sun-java6-plugin has no installation candidate

I would just stick with IcedTea but Java3D doesn’t seem to like OpenJava. I installed the IcedTea plugin for getting Java to work with Firefox and installed the Java3D libraries following the instructions on this link, http://www.icram.de/?q=node/85, but all I get is a grey box when trying to load any sort of Java3D application. Eclipse still works with Java3D applications using Sun Java’s JVM though.

Neither of these problems are deal breakers, but they’re certainly annoying, and further evidence that Linux (especially 64-bit) isn’t quite ready for the desktop world. Linux works great, works with hours of Googling and editing of configuration files, or doesn’t work at all (unless you feel like writing your own drivers). Unfortunately, I’ve always had hardware that fits into the last category (weird wireless cards, video cards, printers). The blame is quite likely on the hardware companies and not the operating system itself, but the average desktop user doesn’t care who should be blamed for the problems, they just want them fixed. And for that matter, so do I… switching to Windows every time I want to print something is a real hassle, and buying new hardware to make your operating system work is more of a Mac thing.

Ubuntu 8.10 Tweaks

11 11 2008

As you saw in my last post, I installed the newest version of Ubuntu. A number of things annoyed me, a number of other things needed improvement, and a number of things I just felt like toggling, so here is a list of what I’ve done so far. I’m not going into details on how to do it, there are plenty of tutorials on the Internet, so there is no reason to reinvent the wheel. Just use the wonderful thing known as Google if you need directions for any of these tweaks.

Must have programs installed:

  • X-chat
  • Adobe Flash
  • Sun Java
  • Eclipse IDE (make sure to configure to use Sun’s Java)
  • Jedit
  • MP3 Codecs
  • Microsoft Windows Fonts (msttcorefonts package)
  • Advanced Compiz Configuration Manager

Things to stop running because I won’t use in Preferences -> Sessions

  • Bluetooth Manager
  • Evolution Alarm Notifier
  • Check for new hardware drivers
  • Update Notifier (I do manual updates when I feel like it)
  • Visual Assistance
  • Tracker
  • Gnome Login Sound
  • Pulse Audio (see last post, using ALSA only)

Things to stop running because I won’t use in Administration -> Services:

  • Bluetooth Manager

Keyboard shortcuts to add:

  • Alt+T Terminal
  • Alt+L Lock Screen

Enable a real root account:

  • sudo passwd root
  • usermod -U root (use if you get an error saying the account has expired)

Must change things in compiz because the alt+tab was annoying me:

  • Disable application switcher and enable static application switcher
  • Static Switcher Application -> Appearance -> Selected Window Highlight -> None

Disable Ubuntu splash screen:

  • I hate splash screens tha hide what’s going on in the background with a little loading bar, and Ubuntu 8.10 hides EVERYTHING. Edit /boot/grub/menu.lst and remove the “quiet splash” line from your Ubuntu entries. Text based FTW!

Disable IPV6 in about:config of Firefox.

Disable the drive icons on the desktop

And finally, make a sane shortcut scheme for all the pretty Compiz functions. Well.. somewhat sane.

For switching desktops on the 3D cube,

  • ctrl+alt+left move to left desktop
  • ctrl+alt+right move to right desktop
  • ctrl+alt+down unfold desktop cube
  • ctrl+alt+up move to desktop #1 (main desktop)
  • ctrl+alt+shift+left move to left desktop dragging current application
  • ctrl+alt+shift+right move to right desktop dragging current application

For switching applications,

  • Windows key + right: switch to right application
  • Windows key + left: switch to left application
  • Ctrl + Windows key + right: switch to right application (across desktops)
  • Ctrl + Windows key + left: switch to left application (across desktops)
  • Windows key + up: application picker (local desktop)
  • Ctrl + Windows key + up: application picker (across desktops)
  • Alt+tab: ring switcher next (local desktop)
  • Ctrl+alt+tan: rint switcher next (across desktops)