Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Ubuntu 5.04 Review/Install

Filed under

Can it really be run on PC and Mac platforms?
By TGodfrey

I recently received multiple copies of Ubuntu’s latest distribution, ‘The Hoary Hedgehog’. UbuntuLinux’s website claims "Ubuntu" is an ancient African word, meaning "humanity to others". Ubuntu also means "I am what I am because of who we all are". The Ubuntu Linux distribution brings the spirit of Ubuntu to the software world. I do not think this can be anymore true plus my wife thinks its just fun to say.

I received live and installation CD’s for Intel x86, AMD64/EM64T, and PowerPC. The organization believes that anyone who asks, shall receive the distribution. I think this is a great way to get an easy-to-use version out there for those that want to use their computer, not be a slave to it. Ubuntu believes in productivity and ease of use in an operating system regardless of the hardware you own (or what was stuck in a closet). Most of the calls I receive are from customers that have 2-4 year old hardware, so I thought the best place to see if the distro is usable is on an older P3 and Apple iMac.

I am a newly granted Novell CLP (Certified Linux Professional), have been teaching classes in linux administration for quite awhile, and genuinely just like the ‘openness’ of a wonderful operating system. The best way to introduce linux to your customers, friends, business associates, etc. is just to give them a live CD and let them play with it. I make a lot of copies of live CD’s, but this one has most of the items my associates are looking for. It needs to be easy to use, easy to configure, have some business applications, web browsing, ability to connect to their local network, and print. Ubuntu does this with such ease it is almost scary.

Let’s take a look at Test#1 and Test #2…

Test #1: PC Installation

PC Installation on an IBM PIII-600mhz, 128mb RAM, 15gb hard drive, and Encore 54g wireless card. This installation took less than a half hour even with configuring the printer and wireless. A word to the wise, it is so much easier to configure the wireless through the PC’s NIC (I did take it out later). My wife wanted to replace our network printer (Epson Stylus Scan 2500 connected to our SuSe Linux 9 server) with a standalone Brother MFC-5840CN printer/fax/scanner/copier/etc. This is a great productivity device for way under $200 and extremely easy to configure.

Initial Installation

Boot from CD and run with the install. The interface is a no-nonsense series of text screens. Just fill in the answers as requested. Ubuntu will want the entire hard drive by default, so make sure to back up any important information before starting the installation. There are ways of setting up multiple partitions, but with this box only having 15gb, it can have the whole thing.

The installation found the correct monitor, mouse, keyboard, and NIC so installation was very quick. I was able to connect to my network drives (SuSe), other shared drives (Mac OS/X and other non-linux), and the internet with no problems. The installation did not see my wireless card or Brother printer automatically. It did see our old Epson without issue and was able to print to it.

The only think I don’t like is that you cannot login as ‘root’ normally. It just proves we get spoiled and really should use the computer with another login. Only administer the computer with the ‘root’ privileges. This is easy enough to fix by:

1. go to TERMINAL
2. type: sudo passwd root
3. type in the password you used when first logging in
4. exit TERMINAL
5. Select: [System] – [Administration] – [Login Screen Setup]
6. Choose: [Security] tab
7. Check the ‘Allow root to login with GDM’ box, then [CLOSE]
8. Close out, reboot, login….

Wireless Configuration

This is easy to do by following the steps from the Ubuntu website. My Encore 54g wireless card is based on the RT2500 Chipset. I just queried the site and it came up with : Please make sure to use a PCI NIC for easier configuration of the card. You can remove it later. I’ll summarize some of the important steps from Mr. Rob Sharp’s instructions.

1. go to TERMINAL
2. type: wget
3. type: tar -xzf rt2500-cvs-daily.tar.gz
4. type: sudo apt-get install build-essential linux-headers-$(uname -r)
5. type: cd ./rt2500-cvs-*/Module
6. type: make
7. To test, type: sudo insmod rt2500.ko


1. Select: [System] – [Administration] – [Networking]
2. Find the wireless card, then Select  [Activate]

To finish up the install

1. go to TERMINAL
2. type: sudo ifdown ra0
3. type: sudo cp ~/rt2500-cvs-daily/Module/rt2500.ko /lib/modules/`uname -r`/kernel/drivers/net/wireless/
4. type: echo "alias ra0 rt2500" | sudo tee /etc/modprobe.d/rt2500

The issue now is that if you restart the computer then you have to do a ‘sudo ifup ra0’ to bring up the wireless card. Mr. Sharp’s instructions go on stating the user can update the /etc/network/interfaces/ file by defining the IP, subnet, SSID, a wireless key (if any), etc. The last line would be ‘auto ra0’ to bring up the card when the machine is turned on. All of the above took less than a half-hour and has been working fine for well over a month. I pulled the internal NIC a little later that evening and have not looked back since.

Printer Configuration

This was a little more tricky. Ubuntu does not support this printer on the CD so you will have to access the Brother Solutions site and download the LPR and CUPS drivers ( I just followed the instructions:

1. Download the LPR driver
2. Download the CUPS/Wrapper driver
3. Basically: rpm -ivh --nodeps drivername
4. Launch your web browser, go to: http://localhost:631
5. Manage / Add / Configure the printer (just follow the screens)

I then used the above to change over my SuSE machines and Fedora 3 box from the Epson to the Brother printer. The Epson will probably go on eBay since it is no longer being used. All has been working well for the past several weeks.

Test #2: PowerPC trial

I really like Macintosh since playing with the different flavors of OS/X. My G3 desktop died a couple of years ago and the only thing I owned with an apple icon is my iPod. I started going through the Mac websites looking for an inexpensive one that did not require much desk space. Like most of you, I’m sure you share an office with multiple computers doing all sorts of ‘important things’….that’s what my wife hears anyway. I’m sure she really didn’t want me dragging home yet another machine.

After almost two weeks, I found an Apple iMac G3 (‘bondi blue’….was really hoping for ‘tangerine’…), 350mhz, 128mb RAM, and 6gb hard drive on eBay for under $100 with shipping. It was delivered a few days later and found not to contain a keyboard or mouse. I reread the eBay listing and it did state that the little guy would not be coming home with a keyboard or mouse.


I didn’t want to wait so I went to the nearest ‘computer place’ and purchased a Kensington wireless keyboard and mouse for under $60. I figured it could be used with another computer in case it did not work. The installation is basically plugging it in and turning on the Mac. OS/X came up with no problems and recognized the new Kensington hardware with no issues. I then booted the Mac with the Ubuntu PowerPC live CD (remember to hold down the “C” key) and it came up flawless! This distro configured the monitor, sound, wireless keyboard/mouse, and saw my network through the built-in port. Fantastic!

The screen looks identical to the PC version and works just as well. Since the machine is running from a live CD, it does run slow since the iMac does not have a very fast CD drive. A bigger hard drive will be found in the near future so a proper installation of Ubuntu can be on the iMac. I guess it would be making the little guy into a uMac?

In conclusion, Ubuntu is a great all-around version of linux. It is easy to load and configure, has many useful business applications, seems to understand just about any type of hardware, and just plain ‘works’. When business associates, customers, and friends ask about trying linux, I can see making many copies of the live CD to get them hooked. Then it just a matter of time before they start asking me for installation CD’s. Linux for human beings….I can see that.

X86 Version on the left; PowerPC on the right

More in Tux Machines

today's leftovers

  • Education in crisis
    Today it is no longer sufficient to cover Microsoft and Cisco certifications only. A well-prepared IT professional needs to know about Linux too. Linux is the power behind the cloud, open source and the Internet of things.
  • Windows 10 Accurate Linux Theme Released for Almost All Major Desktops
    It took the Linux community a while, but they finally managed to put together a very good Windows 10 theme that works on most of the famous desktop environment.
  • Gammu 1.36.7
    Yesterday, Gammu 1.36.7 has been released.
  • gtrends 1.3.0 now on CRAN: Google Trends in R
    Sometime earlier last year, I started to help Philippe Massicotte with his gtrendsR package---which was then still "hiding" in relatively obscurity on BitBucket. I was able to assist with a few things related to internal data handling as well as package setup and package builds--but the package is really largely Philippe's. But then we both got busy, and it wasn't until this summer at the excellent useR! 2015 conference that we met and concluded that we really should finish the package. And we both remained busy...
  • Gigabyte GA-H110M-A: A Sub-$60 Intel Skylake Motherboard
  • AMD A10-8700P "Carrizo" Linux Laptop Testing
    The first of two laptops ordered so far is the Toshiba Satellite L55D-C5269. For $449 USD, this laptop provides a 15.6-inch display, AMD A10-8700P APU, 8GB of DDR3L memory, and 1TB SATA HDD. The most interesting part of that for the forthcoming tests is the A10-8700P -- a Carrizo APU. The A10-8700P is a Carrizo APU with two Excavator CPU modules and Radeon R7 graphics with six compute cores.
  • Mir Gains EGL_KHR_fence_sync Support To Fix Graphics Corruption
  • AMD Crimson Driver Downgrades Performance on Linux
  • New Release: 0 A.D. Alpha 19 Syllepsis
    Wildfire Games, an international group of volunteer game developers, proudly announces the release of “0 A.D. Alpha 19 Syllepsis”, the nineteenth alpha version of 0 A.D., a free, open-source game of ancient warfare. This alpha features building and siege engine capture, a new pathfinder, visual replay and more!
  • Hatred, A highly violent game, is coming soon to Linux
    Hatred is one of the most controversial games that has been published on Steam, is also coming to the Linux platforms sometime in the near future as developers have managed to run it on Ubuntu successfully.
  • Qt testing packages for Fedora and Epel on copr
    We’re ( kde-sig ) trying slowly improve the quality of Fedora KDE and Qt, and is a lot of work. Some of the members even got to new jobs reducing the time to deal as “life” happens, which makes the work harder. Rex Dieter, our fearless ( and reasonable ) leader do a fantastic 100 people work, but still, we have enough to 100+n persons. So anything that can reduce the test time and the burden on the process are a necessary solution. Some can arg that rawhide is a test place, and they are right, but is for a devel future, not for a soon to be stable set of packages. And we’re hardly see people using rawhide on production aside us in some very very very restricted cases and most of all, in virtual machines, not bare metal. Then we can go to the -testing repo, which leads to Fedora buildsystem, that not helps much as every new package submitted need rely of someone say’s ok to testing stage or worst, wait minimum 7 days until reach the servers. And is not testing per se, as if we wait for 7 days without anyone really tested the package and reach the stable with a bad version, so we’re be double screwed.
  • This Week in Solus – Install #12
  • Kwort 4.3 released
    New version of Kwort available, this one is 4.3. Get it while it's hot! :-)
  • openSUSE Tumbleweed Receives Wireshark 2.0, Leap 42.1 Updates Machinery
    Just a few moments ago, November 27, the openSUSE Project, through Douglas DeMaio, announced the latest updates to the openSUSE Tumbleweed and openSUSE Leap 42.1 GNU/Linux operating systems.

today's howtos

Leftovers: GNOME Software

Red Hat and Fedora