Yesteday, after the second decent night’s sleep I’ve had since I set off from NZ at the end of June, I woke up feeling human again, and the jet-lag fog started to clear. A good day despite some half-wit trying to make my life a misery the past 48 hours.
So, I replaced the flaky Linux Mint I’d upgraded from Ubuntu on my netbook linux partition with a nice clean Ubuntun 12.04 install. It had been bugging me all the time I was away, which was the first time I’d relied on the netbook for a while, having decided to avoid lugging a laptop across the world again. Backing up and replacing the e-mails, thunderbird and firefox profiles, and restoring the files was a breeze. Very neat, and very pleased with how mature Linux is getting. I was planning to use the XFCE interface, but I am finding Unity quite convenient on the netbook.
I also updated Windows XP on the Windows partition on the Netbook, although I hardly ever find I need it these days. Finally got round to removing McAfee completely, and decided to try out ClamAV, which is “free”*, and now has some other fancy name on Windows – “Immunet” or something. Did same on the Windows 7 desktop PC, and on the XP and W7 Virtual Machines I keep on my main Unbunu 11.04 laptop (I keep W7 there for Word and EndNote, mainly, and XP for astronomy software – and because my Canon Multi-funtion laser only works with Windows). So, that’s 2 WinXp and 2 Win7 installs updated, with new AV software, and old stuff removed.
Seeing I was, and because while these were cooking, I decided to update the Fedora 15 and openSUSE 11 Virtual Machines with Fedora 17 and openSUSE 12.1. Initially, I just overwrote the existing VM’s, but found that the new installs ended up taking the space on the underlying Ubuntu filesystem down to nearly nothing. So, I trashed these installations, and did a fresh install of both VM’s. This was a bit of a revelation, as it freed up nearly 25GB of space. When I looked into this, I realised that while the filespace allocated was only 10GB for each, I had been taking snapshots after installation, after update, and that gradually these had built up to around half-a-dozen snapshots, eating up the hard drive.
So, I looked at how I could consolidate the two Windows filespaces. I decided a way of recovering the space taken up by the Windows Virtual Machine snapshots would be to clone the VM’s, back up the originals, delete them from the drive and the VM mamager, and switch to the clones instead. And I was right. I recovered another 50GB of space, making a total of about 75GB extra space on my laptop. The Debian 6 I VM updated and cloned, but I may do a fresh install anyway, later.
The main problem I had, which I don’t recall in the earlier versions of SUSE or Fedora, was the Guest software kernel components don’t seem to install. There is a workaround, but it involves downloading the gcc compiler and some headers, and re-building. I think that is a task for another time, as it all seems to work at the moment.
These give me native Ubuntu Unity, SUSE with KDE, and Fedora with Gnome 3; Debian still ships with Gnome 2. Most of these ship with LibreOffice (or make it available), while Debian still ships with OpenOffice. SUSE, like Debian, ships with GIMP 2.6, while Fedora 17 ships with Gimp 2.8; it was nice to see Gimp working in a single window, although you have to switch that on first.
I also installled Ubuntu 12.04 on an old Dell PC that I used to run Debian 5 on for e-mails and stuff, and then tried Fedora 14 on for a while, which I am planning to use as a file and print server. I have another old PC that I might set up as a LAMPP rig, although it is the only thing I have running a pukka Win XP on apart from the netbook, and which I originally set up to use with the control software for the telescopes and stuff.
I’m looking at installing a copy of Mint 13 as a Virtual Machine, as Mate and Cinnamon are becoming interesting alternatives to Gnome 3. I also want to create VM’s to try out CentOS and Scientific Linux, both being copies of Red Hat Enterprise Edition, and ArchLinux, another interesting looking development.
Why do I do this?
Because I can. And because I find it interesting. I am so impressed the way Linux has come so far, and I am always taken aback by how much more stable and robust it is compared with Windows. Now it is even starting to look better, more polished.
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