Mobile devices, Planets and the Human Condition

Ubuntu impressions 5 days on

, posted: 16-Mar-2007 15:09

Five days ago I installed linux for the first time in a decade.

am I impressed? Hell yes.

upfront, ease of use, intuitive configuration and accessibility were great.

everything was detected and worked out of the box, or should i say out of the ISO.

so that was great, I spent quite some time browsing around, saying ooo, aaaah, wow!, hey and associated other remarks of amazement and happiness.

so for first impressions, definitely a winner.

The Next Step

Trying to do something a bit more technical, and a bit more in line with using it like a desktop.

I downloaded Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory.

it took me a little while to install, then when I worked out how to install it, I was missing a gtk lib.

but a quick google found me several great tutorials on how to install ET on linux, including a few distro specific solutions.

I also used windows logic, using the gui i discovered I could mark it as executable, right click and go "open"

so thats all good.

the tutorial I was reading said to test the system for direct rendering, using

"glxinf | grep rendering"
so I did that, but to my despair, the answer was NO!
so I then followed off a link to a site that had two sets of instructions, one for installing the proprietary ATI radeon driver included in the repository, and the other set was how to install the latest from ATI.

me being a geek and loving a challenge, thought I might go through the process of a manual compile and install.
(Ignoring all the flashing warning signs)
So I followed the instructions, rebooted and...



so then I went through the whole process of rebooting, loading the bootstrap off the cd to see if anythere there could help,
searching the web,
and went through all sorts of things.

I knew how to get to the console via the recovery, but couldn't work out what to do from there.

I even joined a number of Ubuntu IRC channels to ask for help, (got completely ignored)

however just before I gave up and went back to windows full time.

I discovered there was a ONE LINE COMMAND.

thats all, JUST ONE LINE!!!

all you linux gurus out there I'm sure will know it already, but maybe one day this will help someone who was stuck like I was.
This line allows you to reconfigure X.

sudo dpkg-reconfigure xserver-xorg
and that brings up a reconfiguration wizard/tool.

ran through that, got X going again.

so then I chose to install the ATI drivers from the repository. followed all the instructions to the letter....
except one towards the end, saying you need to restart.

so after messing around with a number of problems, I realised I needed to reboot. did that,

ran glxinfo | grep rendering
and got a nice YES

so then I ran Wolfenstein ET (after patching etc.) and man does it run well, I am getting a similar framerate on two cloned screens as i did on a single screen through windows,

and I am running at a better quality.

the other problem is I keep getting kicked by Punk Buster after about 3 to 5 minutes for "GAME INTEGRITY VIOLATION"

what on earth that means I don't know.

But hey, at least I'm 3D Accelerated.

so now I am Happily running Ubuntu 6.10, without any further dramas.

I'll continue to learn. however now that I have a week of linux under my belt, I'm going to jump in the deep end and get one of my other machines up and running with a Ubuntu LAMP server.

Other related posts:
Ubuntu install update. (Boot into Windows Count: 1)
Installing Ubuntu - So easy, I may be about to join the darkside

Comment by Michael Magua, on 16-Mar-2007 21:28

No news here, moving on...

Comment by khai, on 17-Mar-2007 01:44

great story. yes, i experienced something similar & get me too much work to get my xserver back. articles like this should be everywhere on internet to help newbies through their first days with linux. otherwise they will give up and get back to windows.

Comment by devnet, on 17-Mar-2007 07:10

My experience was completely different. I plopped in the LiveCD, brought it to a desktop and installed. Upon first boot I opened up synaptic and searched for nvidia, found the driver, selected it for install. Installed it and it recommended I reboot and log back in for changes to take I did. I didn't have to install jre because it was already installed. I didn't have to install flash because it was already installed. I could choose to install codecs if I lived somewhere else than the US with synaptic but who breaks the law? ;) After that one single instance...where I searched and installed the nvidia driver using synaptic, I was up and running UT2K4, Wolfenstein, Quake III, and Doom III. But of course, I use a distro far easier than Ubuntu. That distro is PCLinuxOS. :D

Comment by Geoff, on 17-Mar-2007 09:20

I'm not sure if the do ATI as well but Automatix2 certainly handles NVidia drivers - along with a ton of other proprietary stuff and non-standard Linux goodies, and all from a simple GUI. Details at or, since you've discovered the joys of Linux command line, install (on Ubuntu/Kubuntu) with the command: sudo apt-get install automatix2

Comment by VanAlstine, on 19-Mar-2007 07:14

I would like to second what devnet said about PCLinuxOS. I've used Ubuntu and PCLinuxOS. PCLinuxOS is better. In fact, of all the distros I've tried over the years, PCLinuxOS is the most stable and easy to use. It's repository already contains everything, so you don't have to add any other repositories.

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