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Newsreel: Crazies, Myths & Name Changes

For those who have asked for a break from the FUD and focus on why Linux is a great OS, I thought you might enjoy this short article from Linux Journal about why people are crazy about Linux. I find the author’s personal reasons for using Linux (listed just after the bulleted list) are similar to mine, especially the simplicity of text-based config files.

Also, here’s one from the downloadsquad regarding Linux myths. A few of these sound vaguely familiar.

Finally, some proposed name changes to Ubuntu derivatives have made the news. It is generally good practice to avoid changing the names of established products, especially more than once. The author hit the nail on the head… it’s confusing. It also impairs brand loyalty.


Ubuntu Founder’s Invitation Sparks Controversy

The invitation that Mark Shuttleworth politely extended to developers of the OpenSUSE Linux distribution has been met with mixed reactions by that community. Most are negative, some are positive. Mark anticipated the controversy when he said:

“I know that posting this message to an OpenSUSE list will be controversial. I’m greatly respectful of the long tradition of excellence in the SuSE product and community and have no desire to undermine that with this post. That said, I think the position taken by Novell leadership in their contract with Microsoft is hugely disrespectful of the contributions of thousands of GPL programmers and contributors to SuSE, and I know that many are looking for a new place to get involved that is not subject to the same arbitrary executive intervention. Ubuntu is one option, as are Gentoo, Debian and other communities. Please accept this mail in that spirit”

Despite this, it seemed to throw gas in the already raging fire.

My opinion? The negative reactions in that mailing list are more like OVERREACTIONS. Relax, people. It was a friendly invitation with GOOD intentions! You don’t have to accept it if you don’t like it. Seems like Ubuntu’s popularity (justified or not, profit or not) is making some other distro communities jealous?

How to Add the Trash Can to Your Kubuntu Desktop

Do you use Kubuntu (or have KDE installed in Ubuntu) and want to add a Trash can to your KDE Desktop? If so, then follow these steps:

Create a text file on your Desktop by right-clicking on it and pointing to Create New > Text File. Open this file and paste the following in the file:

[Desktop Entry]
Comment=Contains removed files

Save the file and close it.

You’re done!

Looking to add the Trash Applet to your Ubuntu (Gnome) desktop? Read this post.

Troubleshooting and Fixing Sound Issues in (K)Ubuntu Linux

As always, the great community called Ubuntu Forums has a great guide to troubleshooting your sound problems in Linux, specifically Ubuntu and Kubuntu.

If you can’t hear sounds or they only work in some cases, or whatever the problem may be, check out the Comprehensive Sound Problem Solutions Guide.

Changing from Ubuntu to Kubuntu (Installing KDE to Ubuntu)

I decided to change from Gnome to KDE today. Why? The Gnome interface is too simple that it makes it very difficult to customize it the way I want. Many normal customization settings that I expect to find in a good environment – that I can easily access in KDE – are not accessible or don’t even exist (as far as I can tell) in Gnome. I find that the KDE environment is much more “geeky” and customizable than Gnome. I’m geeky that way…

Besides, I find that the Gnome GUI is “unsteady” or “unstable”. Not that it crashes all the time (cause it doesn’t), just that it seems weak in the way the windows are created. It’s just the “feel” of it, I guess. It’s kind of hard to explain. I find the KDE environment – although not as “pretty” as Gnome” – to be more robust, and that includes KDE software. I feel safer, more confident, with KDE.

I’ve used Gnome in different flavors in Linux over the years, and the Gnome environment is much better in Ubuntu than it was in previous versions, but I’m still not convinced that it is ready as the Desktop Environment to conquer Windows.

Now I just have to get used to KDE. I may have a different opinion after a few months in KDE. Who knows?

But if you are a user that only has Gnome (Ubuntu) and would like to have KDE available as a Desktop Environment option at logon, do the following command in Shell:
sudo aptitude install kubuntu-desktop
I ran into a few “issues” after. I ended up with an ugly KDE login screen. I had to do the following to get it back to normal:
sudo dpkg-reconfigure gdm
Follow the steps and choose GDM when asked.

Now that you have KDE installed, you can login to it by hitting F10 at the login screen or using the Options menu at the login screen.

The boot-up and shutdown splash screens also get changed to the blue Kubuntu splash, which I find really ugly. I like the default boot splash and shutdown splash.

To restore the original splash screens, open a terminal window and do the following commands:
sudo ln -sf /usr/lib/usplash/ /usr/lib/usplash/
sudo dpkg-reconfigure linux-image-$(uname -r)


And now you are back to the normal Ubuntu splash theme, but with the option of loading the KDE Desktop Environment.

If your login screen’s resolution suddenly becomes too big to fit your screen, read this post.

Enjoy your new KDE!

How to Restore the Official Firefox and Thunderbird icons in (K)Ubuntu

One of the first things I didn’t like about (K)Ubuntu was that Firefox and Thunderbird didn’t sport their official icons. Thanks to the Ubuntu forums, a user named Sam posted a fix.