Farewell Kubuntu Mint, Hello Fedora 16

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I have been running Linux Mint 10 for ages and have hacked and patched and updated it with various repositories to make sure it was reasonably up-to-date. The application I use most often on the desktop is DigiKam. The development of DigiKam has accelerated recently to the point of a new release almost monthly. The repositories are all trying to play catch-up. Some dedicated individuals are rolling their own .debs/.rpms for different flavours of linux. All you have to do is connect to their repository and install. But it is never that simple as the newer versions of DigiKam required newer versions of all the dependencies and a simple install ends up pulling in loads of different packages. In the end I gave up and stuck with version 1.9 as newer versions required an updated version of KDE and it was getting to be a hassle patching everything together. Continue reading Farewell Kubuntu Mint, Hello Fedora 16

In a box on a box

vbox_logo2_gradientvbox_add_iso3I am running the non-free version of Virtualbox 3.0.12 on Linux Mint 7 KDE.  Normally Virtualbox works perfectly out of the box and is has worked perfectly when I was running Ubuntu 9.04.  Having changed OS recently to Mint I thought I would reinstall it to test future releases before taking the plunge and installing for real.

First up I installed the Virtualbox OSE from the Mint/Ubuntu repositories.  I created a new VM with a new virtual hard disc (8GB).  I downloaded the latest kubuntu desktop image to my downloads folder.  Then I configured the VM to read the ISO image as the start-up disc.  Or rather I tried to configure it.

On the VM settings tab I selected the CD/DVD-ROM drive, mounted the CD/DVD Drive and checked the radio button vbox_add_iso1for the ISO image file.  No media was selected so I clicked the browse button to open the choose file dialogue.  Navigating to the Downloads folder a blank screen is returned to me.

Huh?

The file exists.  For some reason Virtualbox OSE under Mint 7 KDE can’t see the ISO files.  Take two.  Uninstall OSE and install the non-free version of Virtualbox – taking the latest version 3.1.0 from the website.  Same problem.  Uninstall 3.1.0 and reinstall 3.0.12 rebooting between installs.  No luck.  I have searched the forums for an answer without finding a solution.

vbox_add_iso2I have made sure I have been added to the vboxusers group.  Tried different ISO images including Mint 8, Dragonfly, FreeBSD.  The only thing that worked was booting from an Ubuntu 6.06 CD I had burnt three years ago.  The VM picked up the drive and popped up the gold Ubuntu menu.

Now it’s not the end of the world and there are probably better things I could be doing with my time but it is still annoying that something that worked under Ubuntu doesn’t work under Mint – an Ubuntu derivative.  If anything does turn up to solve the problem I’ll update the post with the solution.

Experimenting with Mint KDE

Mint 7 KDEI got tired of brown and orange ubuntu. And I really like amarok as a media player instead of ryhthmbox and I wanted to try digikam as photo manager instead of f-spot. I had heard good things about Linux Mint. Which is green and so makes a pleasant change.

So I backed up 250GB of photos, video, music and accumulated cruft and installed Linux Mint 7 “Gloria” KDE version.  It was not without hassles.digiKam The installer got confused as to which drive was which and, after a clean install reformatting everything to ext4, installed grub2 on the wrong disc.  Various boot parameters had to be edited until the Ubuntu 6.10 rescue CD sorted things out using the “rescue a broken system” menu.

DigiKam (0.10.0) works but I’d like to install version 1.0.0 and I need KDE 4.3.x for that.  It is a lot slower on my desktop than f-spot was under ubuntu (My desktop is Core 2 Duo e4300, 2GB DDR2 RAM, ASUS P5VDX2 mobo, 2 x 250GB WD and 1 x 500GB WD, nvidea 8600GT 512MB so it should be pretty snappy with all the fancy effects).

Amarok KWinAmarok has its pros and cons.  The default version on Mint 7 plays last.fm radio streams but doesn’t download any cover art for my albums.  Amarok NEON (bleeding edge) doesn’t play last.fm as it uses the new API requiring 3 euro a month but it does download most of my cover art.

Kdenlive is a non-linear video editor for KDE and seems to be pretty good.  Something along the lines of iMovie or Adobe Premiere Elements.  I have not used it with any serious intent yet but I do need to prepare a best man’s speech which I will have to deliver by video.  It might come in handy.

So what to do, what to do?

Wait for Mint 8 KDE or install Mint 8 Gnome?  32bit or 64bit?