Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Some Ubuntu notes

These are some of my own customization that differs from the default Ubuntu installation.
  • For Dell with integrated Intel graphics card, install xserver-xorg-video-intel and use the "intel" driver rather than "i810" one. This should make 915resolution obsolete.

    915resolution is used to patch the video BIOS for the "i810" driver so additional video modes (such as 1680x1050) are supported for widescreen LCD monitors (mine is an Acer X221W 22", used on Intel 915G chipset). It turns out that the "i810" driver ignores the ModeLine settings in xorg.conf and instead tries to use the BIOS for switching video mode. It is no longer needed for the "intel" driver.

    Additional xrandr invocation might be needed to get the timings straight. Even when the screen resolution is set at 1680x1050, there might be a position problem where the display is chopped off on some sides and has blank bars on others. I find that setting it to 1600x1200 first, then switch to 1680x1050, fixes the problem.
  • alpine, ssmtp: use alpine instead of pine, and ssmtp in place of sendmail, postfix, or exim4. Probably want to symbolic link /usr/bin/alpine to /usr/local/bin/pine.

    Either using pine or alpine, modify /etc/pine.conf by setting sendmail-path to "/usr/sbin/ssmtp -t".
  • Add medibuntu to the repositories for additional non-free packages. This makes the additional packages libdvdcss, skype, ... available.
Pending issues:
  • Empirical regression of nfs performance over BU Linux. Wonder why?
  • Skype static no longer works. Stuck at end user license agreement dialog, and skype adruptly quits.