Migration from lovely Gentoo to feisty Kubuntu
A few weeks ago I decided to migrate my Notebook from Gentoo to Kubuntu.
Now why would anyone want to do that? Well, as I use Kubuntu in the office I realized that its easier to handle for my partner Britta, with all those GUI settings and popups if you attach something (mp3 player, …) etc.
After moving around some files I could use my home partition for Kubuntu. Thanks to extensive partitioning I dont need to resize them. I dont like to resize partitions. Its like if someone would remove a room of my appartement just because I dont use it.
After downloading the latest Kubuntu version (7.04, Feisty Fawn) (now this Website sucks, the Ubuntu site is much better) I tried to boot it. Well, thanks a lot to the Kubuntu-People the X-Server didnt start. As it seems this is a known issue but no one seems to try to fix it.
The problem are 16:9 or 16:10 resolutions (1280×800, 1440×900, 1680×1050), with 4:3 resolutions all should work well. So X didnt start because it couldnt find a working resolution. Thats a bit strange as the typical fallback resolutions like 1024×768, 800×600, … all work with that display. It doesnt look nice but it works. So I changed the /etc/X11/xorg.conf Screen section, Display subsection to this:
SubSection "Display"Depth 24Modes "1280x800"EndSubSection
And it worked. Really annyoing as this doesnt seem to be hard to figure out. But maybe there are problems with other systems then…
So far I was a bit disappointed but I kept on. To be honest I am still not happy about the graphics card drivers that I use now, for some reason they dont do 3D acceleration. And yes, under Gentoo I had Beryl running with a good performance with the same driver (the native closed source one from AMD/ATI)…
The rest of the installation went really smoothly, after rebooting it even started X as it copied over the changed xorg.conf file (I think, I wouldn’t bet on that now, its some time ago).
Then I had to install all the needed applications and all that stuff. I just took a look into the Gentoo /var/lib/portage/world file to find everything I had installed there. Honestly, I always think I know what software I normally use, but in reality I don’t think of quite a lot of stuff…
After configuring most of the stuff (which was quite easy) and testing if everything is working I decided to do the real switch (of course I still have the option to go back! ). Against all Howtos and Guides on how to migrate Firefox and Thunderbird I just copied the directories from the old home folder to the new one. Firefox worked fine, all addons were still there, perfect! Thunderbird wasnt that easy to handle as it created a new and empty profile instead of using my copied one. So I just copied the subdirectories again and everything worked! All settings are present and all archived emails are there! Thats the way software should always be!
Then I just setup iptables, tinyproxy and dansguardian to use as adfilter as I did before. I know, Konqueror and Firefox do have Adblocker. And in Linux its not that bad (I used that setup earlier on my router and with Windows, thats very helpful!), there are not many applications that show you some ads. Still I like that simple setup with the transparent filtering proxy. On a router I would use Squid of course to cache some data and improve the performance.
So this is basically it, as I am too lazy to write a real howto (and I guess there is no need, there are enough out there, Yahoo is your friend). No honestly, Google is not your friend.
A few days ago a work mate asked me what I like most in KDE and why I prefer it over Gnome (I used Gnome for a few months at work). That made me think and I will just write down a few thoughts, maybe some Gnome-Lovers get it and switch to the better side…
KDE is configurable. Gnome is as well? Yes, and Windows or OSX are too, or what? Adjusting the color of the background is not really configuring… In KDE you can configure your stuff really as you like.
The applications in KDE are just better. You can run them in Gnome of course, but the integration and the look&feel is just not the same.
So my favorites are Akregator (best news reader ever!), Kate (very good simple editor), Kopete (IM, sadly its not working with Skype), KDevelop (well, its good but far from perfect!) and Digikam (very nice image gallery thingy with lots of plugins).
I also should mention Kompare (its like diff but graphical and looks really nice), kdesvn (kde subversion GUI client), KRegExpEditor (well, the name says it, it shows you realtime results, very handy for testing!) and KMyMoney (I use that to have a good overview about our expenses, its simple to use).
Now I forgot Amarok. Well, I like it and I think that there is no better Musicplayer (or how do you call that?), still its not as good as I would like it. Problems are network performance when you have your collection on a share somewhere and some other smaller things…
And “soon” there will be KDE 4! That will really rock, as soon as its stable. I think this will make a very big step forward, even the hardest Windows and OSX Fanboys will have there problem when flaming against the next major Kubuntu release…