to Gutsy! And beyond!


Yes, I was late. I keep avoiding having to upgrade to Gutsy, because Compiz/Beryl was pain to setup. I just don’t want to mess with something that is already running well, and won’t be very happy if compiz-fusion on Gutsy turns out to be a bummer.

But having tired of carefully keeping my beryl setup safe from package updates, I finally gave in, and press the upgrade button on the update manager.

And yes, compiz fusion failed to start right out of the box. Turns out my updated ATI driver (that the upgrade process decided to keep) was to “advanced”. Typing “fglrxinfo” on a terminal crash the xorg. So I decided to do it from the scratch. But everything else was fine… Application runs as they should be, including the Pentax Photo Laboratory (which runs over Wine) for processing RAW output for my K100D, wireless works, multimedia setting was carried out to Gutsy, restricted drivers were detected for my hardware, even my softmodem was detected. So I decided to do Compiz Fusion from the scratch. If you are in the same situation as mine (upgrading Feisty to Gutys, and have installed ATI restricted driver and Xgl), you might want to try these steps. Make sure you have internet connection up and running, preferably via LAN

Remove the “new” ATI driver
Start Synaptic from System > Administration > Synaptic Package Manager. Search for any package that has “fglrx” it it’s name, and remove them, close Synaptic

Remove Xgl
Remove Xgl by opening terminal, and type

$sudo apt-get remove xserver-xgl

Reinstall ATI driver
I rebooted my system and.. tada!! xorg failed to find fglrx, and gave me CLI. So you might want to avoid restarting your system. As for me, since the my wireless connection still works, it was a no issue. So I proceed to the next step:

$sudo apt-get install xorg-driver-fglrx

Then I reboot my system. Checked the driver:

$fglrxinfo

The output was

display: :0.0 screen: 0
OpenGL vendor string: ATI Technologies Inc.
OpenGL renderer string: ATI MOBILITY RADEON X300
OpenGL version string: 2.0.6473 (8.37.6)

If you still see mesa entries on the output of that command, please run “aticonfig –initial” to setup the xorg.conf. Make sure the driver version is 8.3x, as 8.42 decides to play funny games with xgl, but won’t start composite without xgl.

Reinstall xgl
This is straight forward, just type:

$sudo apt-get install xserver-xgl

On Gutsy, you don’t need to setup a separate X session for Xgl, so reboot, then Xgl is active

Install Compiz Fusion

$sudo aptitude install compiz compiz-core compiz-fusion-plugins-extra compiz-fusion-plugins-main compiz-gnome compiz-plugins compizconfig-settings-manager libcompizconfig-backend-gconf libcompizconfig0 python-compizconfig

Go to “System > Preference > Appearance”, go to Visual Effects tab, and activate compiz by selecting “custom”. Compiz is available the next time i rebooted.

What I missed from this basic installation of compiz is the emerald theme manager. It can be easily installed by typing:

$sudo apt-get install emerald

Emerald includes Emerald theme managers that helps on changing desktop themes. Just type “emerald-theme-manager” on a terminal, select your desired theme. for the change to take effect, you need to reload compiz. I do this by opening a terminal, and type:

$metacity –replace

This will replace compiz with Gnome basic theme manager, Metacity. Then reload compiz again, by typing :

$compiz –replace

To make things easier, consider installing Compiz Fusion Icon. It will provide shortcut to most of things related to desktop setting, including emerald manager, and helps you reload a windows manager to refresh the desktop if you just changed the theme by using emerald-theme-manager.

*UPDATE April 5th 2008*
Prior moving to Gutsy, I mainly use my laptop on my wireless network at my home. This was set to no security. As I’m planning to travel this month, it occurs to me that my wireless interface might be required to support some kind of security scheme like wep or wpa. So i skimmed through some sites regarding this topic, and I was horrified to find out that wpa/wpa2 support in Gutsy and Feisty is not working for lots of people. My wireless experience with Ubuntu is almost trouble free, and wpa was already supported out of the box, as I used to set my wireless router to wpa personal, but switched away, since other people at my household (namely my dad, who used to be very computer savvy with Lotus 123 and wordstar) were having difficulties connecting to the router.
So to test whether wpa is still supported by my Gutsy install, I decided to turn on wpa2 on my router. My wireless connection immediately ceased working. My wireless network showed up on network manager accompanied with secure “shield” logo. Tried to connect…

And It Works! 😀

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