Ubuntu 17.10 – First impression

If you are a Linux user then you will more than likely be aware that Ubuntu 17.10 is just around the corner and there are some massive changes coming. Unlike previous version of the Ubuntu that has come with the Unity Desktop environment, this time they are mixing it up and are going to begin using the Gnome desktop environment as standard. ( You can currently use either Ubuntu Gnome or install the Gnome environment alongside unity) 

At first hearing about this I had some reservations because I was very comfortable within the Unity environment and had very little experience with the Gnome desktop, bar what time I had spend using it within Kali Linux. But after reading into why they have decided to cut the Unity desktop it makes sense. I mean would you spend the time creating and maintains something more or less from scratch when it is deployed on a very small percentage of machine that run your OS.

But again when reading that Gnome was going to be the default environment I was somewhat disappointed because of the ascetics, for those of you who use Gnome you might like the cold gray and blue that it styles it self with. But I’m a huge fan of how warm and nice Unity looks. Well from some screen shots I have you can see that although they are using Gnome they have managed to add that Unity flair to it. 

Take a look in the images below and let me know what you think in the comment section, and check this space for more information on Ubuntu 17.10

(Images from omgubuntu.com)

Lenovo T400s: Ubuntu Machine Part 3

Another worry before delving into Linux is the lack of support for game, this turned out to be a common misconception. I will expand on that further in the next section, the first place for anyone wishing to play computer games these days is to download Steam. You can do this by either going onto the steam website, or the slightly more time-consuming way by going into the terminal and adding it that way. I opted for the quicker and more straight forward way as I didn’t see the requirement to use the terminal when steam offers a direct download.

After i installed steam and logged into my account i was concerned about the availability of games that i will have access too. And out of the 250ish game that i have connected to my steam account around 110 where available to play on my Ubuntu machine. For the record these where majority indie games such as Game Dev Tycoon and Software inc. Both of these games require low hardware specification, but i was very surprised to see ARMA 3 was available. I feel this could be largely due to steam trying to push Steam OS (Steams Linux Based OS) but there where still a vast amount of games to play. This was a genuine surprise to me as i was very much under the impression that Linux didn’t have game or supported them very well. I have not yet checked the compatibility of other game distributors such as GOG and Origin.

Another option is to use the Ubuntu software center i have only briefly looked through the games there and downloaded one to see what it was like. although it is a limited selection of games when you’re not paying for them it isn’t to much of a worry if you only download it to kill a little bit of time. playing games on Ubuntu wasnt without its challenges though, one of the games i attempted to install just would not load, and the download speed was terrible. I have a 10mb connection but was averaging 100kb-300kn max. This was frustrating because my windows Laptop on the same network was downloading games at about 8mb. After reading into this it is a common fault and there where a number of methods to fix this. I simply rebooted the device and it seemed to sort its self out that time. But if the problem persists then i will pursue the solutions i have found on-line.

Lenovo T400s: Ubuntu Machine Part 2

This next installment in my first impression using Ubuntu as my daily driver is going to cover first experiences with the terminal and making some tweaks to how I used the system. As soon as I logged into the system I realised there was already a modification I was after. The use of the ThinkPads fingerprint scanner, I was unsure if I would be able to get this to work due to possible lack of drivers or it just generally being unsupported.

At this point I turned to google to see if anyone had a solution and if so how to implement it, this didn’t take long and after scanning through a couple of websites it looked like I wouldn’t have much trouble acquiring the application. But I needed to add the repository to the system using the terminal. At this point having used Ubuntu for about 2 minutes I was a little bit worried about the prospect of using the terminal. After using windows systems for as long as I can remember having to code a terminal to download and install a program seemed like something that could open up the possibility of the system failing.
However this is not the case after finding this website that provided me with the code required to download the application through the terminal it was farther easy. Although tat first I was a little sure on the syntax, it worked with no issues and follows the same format to install just about anything within the terminal.

Once the download and installation had been completed, I was presented with the Fingerprint GUI. It is a very basic application that prompts you to scan your right index finger firs, but once that has been entered you are able to add all ten fingers to the system. After they had been added I decided to log out and give it ago, and was pleasantly surprised by how quick and efficient it was for being an add-on application. And I had just assumed that it would let me login to the system and that would be it, but this isn’t a one trick pony. I was in the terminal again trying to install another application and repository, when I entered the sudo command and was prompted for my password the fingerprint scanner enabled allowing me to authorise sudo commands using the scanner. I felt this was a brilliant feature especially if you use a long password.

Lenovo T400s: Ubuntu Machine Part 1

I recently acquired a Lenovo ThinkPad T400s from a pile of junk laptops I was harvesting for parts.  Most of the items in the pile where either damaged beyond being of any use or just to old and not worth the time or effort in taking parts from them. But within this pile of junk i found a T400s, having no prior knowledge of ThinkPads disassembly was in order to asses what I was dealing with.

If you have ever tried to view the components or replace parts on a ThinkPad you will understand what I mean about it being a  pleasure as all of the parts are incredibly easy to access. For someone who takes just about any device I purchases to pieces, to see the possible upgrade paths this is a dream. The machine its self was nothing special, it has a rather old intel CPU and 2GB of ram. The previous owner had how ever added a 120GB SSD so that was a nice surprise. And after finding a spare 4GB ram stick I was set to embark on my first real usage of Linux Ubuntu.

The reason I selected Ubuntu as my distro of choice is due largely to it being the most commonly mentioned one and seems to be the most accessible for a novice such as myself. The installation process is a breeze, this is because it is very easy to create a USB bootable and away you go. Another plus of ubuntu was the fact you can run it off the bootable device to see if you like it and then you can install from there. This in my opinion was nice as there are so many flavours of Linux out there it might take a couple of goes to find the one that fits you.

There are very few point during the installation that interaction is required, bar selecting the time zone, setting up the wi-fi and then creating the user account. These all take a few moments and the installation is very quick after that. I ran the updates during the installation that added a little time to my installation but nothing ridicules. One this was completed I was given the login screen and was about to begin using Linux as a daily driver.