Tuesday, July 23, 2013

An excuse to try Ubuntu

In my process of installing several different Linux distros over the last week or two, I found out a few things.

First, the idea of using LVM and having a separate partition for /home is great. I was able to wipe Linux Mint off my machines and put on Lubuntu with no problem at all. No data loss. All my user settings remained intact.

But... my partitions were a little wonky. And after installing Lubuntu on my desktop machine which is designed to boot in UEFI mode I was having some trouble.

Turns out that the newer PCs that shipped with Windows 8 use a different method of booting. No longer do they use the old PC Bios... but instead they use UEFI. With UEFI, you have a special partition on your hard drive (about 256MB) that contains the first-stage boot files. Macs have been using this for awhile.

Because this is so new, a lot of Linuxes are having trouble with it. I messed with the UEFI thing for quite awhile last night. I had the machine booting... but it would not do so without this weird error. So I set my machine for legacy boot. This tells it to boot using the old PC Bios way. That meant I could delete the EFI partition.

That's also when I decided that my LVM volume groups needed to be renamed. Having them named "mint-vg" just would not do since I was no longer running Linux Mint. I figured, better sort this all out now rather than later. Since I had just done a fresh install, it was a good time to re-do it before I had too much time invested into it.

Unfortunately, in the process of renaming the volume group on my laptop... I rendered the machine unbootable. Yes, there are many ways I could have fixed that. But... I used it as an opportunity to make yet another change. I'd experienced Lubuntu for a day or two. I thought... hmm... maybe I should just load Ubuntu proper on these?

So... I wiped both machines again... and installed Ubuntu on them.

Parting thoughts on Lubuntu... I liked it a lot. It actually seemed quite a bit more polished than Linux Mint. And it's probably way more my style than Ubuntu is. So if I get sick of Ubuntu, it will probably be the one I go back to.

So far, it seems to me that the biggest negative with Ubuntu is all the crapware they put on there. Stuff that gets in the way. Little "features" that are just annoying and make you think "how can I disable this" when you first encounter them.