Archive for April, 2014

Installing Xubuntu 14.04 on the Acer S3 Ultrabook

July 16, 2014
xub012Does Xubuntu 14.04 run on the Acer S3 Ultrabook?

Yes, it does, and Xubuntu runs as stable and as fast as its predecessors.

I have been running Xubuntu 14.04 on the Ultrabook for the past several days, and I am pleased with the results. The S3 Ultrabook is a fine computer, but Xubuntu, like many other Linux distributions, can exhibit quirky behavior depending upon the hardware, so here are a few suggestions based on my experience to help Xubuntu install and run with Compiz desktop effects on this slim netbook.

This article covers following points:

  • Installation and partitioning for SSD and hard drive
  • Encryption issues
  • Kernel 3.14.2
  • Adjust the backlight using keyboard shortcuts
  • Compiz and Emerald
  • R.A.T.7 and M.M.O.7 Support
  • Power Management (Fix the display blanking issue that occurs when blanking is disabled)

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Xubuntu 14.04 Released

April 17, 2014
xub003It’s finally here! An already excellent operating system is improved once again and launched into the Linux galaxy.

Xubuntu 14.04 LTS was released today (April 17, 2014) along with the other *buntu distributions, such as Kubuntu 14.04 and Ubuntu 14.04, and I am quite pleased. After installing and performing a cursory experimentation with the 64-bit version, and I am definitely happy with what I see.

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SSD or HDD: Which is Faster for a Virtual Machine?

April 16, 2014
ssdvshddIf a virtual machine loads and runs from a mechanical hard drive (HDD) or from a solid state drive (SSD), which drive offers faster performance?

Certainly, the SSD will be faster, but by how much? How about some numbers and graphs for comparison? Utilizing my super-scientific timing techniques (a stopwatch), I tested Xubuntu 13.10 in VirtualBox 4.3.10 on both a 5400 RPM and an SSD to see how much the drive affects VM operation and load times.

Here are the results.

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Xubuntu 13.10, Compiz, and Emerald

April 14, 2014
compiz01Ah, Compiz. The graphical darling of the Linux world that instantly grabs people’s attention and makes them ask, “Cool! How can I make my computer do that?”

Ah, Compiz. Why must you be so quirky?

Before Unity and GNOME 3, Compiz and Emerald were easy to setup and run most of the time. The Ubuntu 10.10 era made the process simple, and Linux Mint 10 was even simpler.

These days, Compiz and Emerald can be a struggle. Are they feasible on today’s distributions? Yes, but… Being a tremendous fan of Compiz and Emerald, I resolved to make them work in Xubuntu 13.10 and Linux Mint 16 MATE, and this led to contradicting results yearning for the “good ol’ days.”

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Monitor Network Activity With iftop

April 2, 2014
iftop03Just as top and htop allow us to view and manage system processes in real time, Linux provides a fine and dandy program, called iftop, that lets us view realtime network activity within a terminal.

Pausing network display, cycling through different display options, filtering, and scrolling through the current connections are a few of the useful features possible to make it easier to see what flows across the network behind the scenes.

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