Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Eureka! At least partially...

Have been setting up my iMac G5 with Xubuntu, dual booting with OSX 10.4 (Tiger). I've done so as a means of speeding up my working environment in Inkscape. On my limping G5 it's workable, but a bit sluggish. And at times it's downright molasses.

I chose Xubuntu over other linux versions because my understanding is that it's lightweight, putting less strain on computer resources. In addition to being able to run Inkscape natively, that's what I'm looking for in running linux. More pep in Inkscape even with aging hardware.

Simply installing Xubuntu was a headache that I spread out over a few days as I figured it out. At least it was a headache for this non-linux user, and indeed a non-programmer of any kind.

But I got it installed, and today! I got wireless internet to work! and was able to download inkscape! albeit for some reason it was Inkscape 0.46 instead of the latest 0.47 (?!). So, I need to figure out how to update Inkscape to 0.47. Edit: as Esther points out in the comments, the latest Inkscape is available with the latest Xubuntu, so when I upgraded, Inkscape 0.47 became available.It's not like installing on a Mac or in Windows, where you go to Sourceforge.net, find the file, download and install. As far as I've seen, in Xubuntu I can either use the Add/Remove feature which does all that for me (but to an old version?), or open Terminal, type in commands to download, and type in commands to install the software. But, the instructions for that is all gibberish to me.

I also need to figure out how to get my Wacom Bamboo to work. At this very moment I am upgrading to Xubuntu 9.10 from 9.04, and maybe that will solve the Wacom Bamboo problem (?). Not sure why I didn't initially instal 9.10, maybe it just came out in the last few days?

In another post I'll rundown what I did to get Xubuntu to work, at least as far as I have gotten it to (that is, if I can manage to retrace my steps, picking out the information sources that worked for me from those that didn't).

My brief test with Inkscape in Xubuntu seems to show it to be much, much faster in Xubuntu (over running it non-natively in OSX via X11). Still need to work with it more to be sure. It better be, after all this time to get Xubuntu set up :)


Esther said...

The latest Ubuntu comes out on April 29th. The version of Inkscape depends what is available in the repositories for your particular build of Ubuntu. You can d/l and compile newer versions but it may break some of your libraries and dependencies. Ubuntu, even though it is a linux, is a very customized linux. You may be able to find some help for the Wacom driver issue in the Ubuntu forums. Just proceed with caution as some advice in the forums causes more problems than it solves. I am running 9.10 Gnome Ubuntu and love it. I also LOVE Inkscape.

Congrats on the dual boot install on a Mac. That sounds a bit difficult.

Daniel Heywood said...

Thank you, Esther. I did find out about the Inkscape upgradeability being linked to the upgraded Xubuntu when I went from 9.04 to 9.10. I've since added an edit in the post. Looks like I'll be upgrading again on the 29th :)

There is discussion about Wacom drivers in the Ubuntu forums, but just need to sort it out, and find someone talking to people like me, instead of what most of them are saying, using one word that means ten, when I need those other nine words spelled out :)

Inkscape is really quite fantastic. I can't agree more.

The dual boot wasn't hard to do once figured out, just hard to figure out :) Almost all the info is written by people talking to people with some working knowledge of linux. As I got more familiar with lingo, and versions, and such, it became less muddy as I read what people did to get it up and running. In the end, though, I'm not sure if I ended up piecing together information from several sources, or if it could be found in one spot. I'll have to review the pages I went through and my notes on what I did to install it. Maybe a quick rundown of my process in a future post could help someone else if they stumble on my one of many other how-to's.

Esther said...

I know exactly what you are talking about. I have used Ubuntu for the last two years and I am still trying to figure out some of the lingo.

UbuntuStudio is supposed to have drivers for Wacom tablets, so there may be help there.

BTW, I would hold off upgrading to 10.04 because there are some critical bugs. Also, Canonical did not incorporate the latest linux kernel and they had to backport a lot of video drivers, which may cause problems for people with older hardware.A press release today indicated a bug problem with the X.org drivers which are video drivers.