3-D Desktop

Yesterday I upgraded my main computer from Kubuntu 5.10 (Breezy Badger) to 6.06 (Dapper). It’s probably one of the most painless upgrades of any that I’ve done: I few lines changed and typed, and apt-get does it all.

I’d even say Kubuntu (or Ubuntu) was so easy to upgrade that it’s almost ready to rival Windows or Mac for usability, except for one step: something about the upgrade shot my Nvidia graphics drivers, meaning I had to SSH into the computer and reinstall them. No big deal, but not something I picture the average user being happy about.

There seems to be better sound support in this latest version. Firefox and Flash on K/Ubuntu are known to have sound problems, but adapting this fix to my 32-bit-Firefox-on-64-bit-Linux-setup, I added a file named “firefoxrc” with just one line (FIREFOX_DSP="aoss") to /usr/local/firefox32, forcing Firefox to use the ALSA sound server. Setting the system sound server to ESD allows me to avoid the usual conflicts between the Flash and system sounds.

One cool feature of this version of KDE is 3-D representation of desktop switching, pictured. Not really that useful, but fun to play with.


  1. Heck, I’d go a step further and say that Linux is easier to install than Windows. Or at least, much less painful and annoying. The thing which has caused me the most pain in Linux to date is setting up printers.

  2. You should give Xgl/Compiz a try. What you have pictured is just one of the types of effects that it can accomplish.

    Video/Screenshots here: http://www.novell.com/linux/xglrelease/

    Setup instructions (for Dapper) here: https://help.ubuntu.com/community/CompositeManager/Xgl

    I got it working quite nicely on my GeForce FX 5200. :)

  3. That looks like fun, but I think XGL uses OpenGL, which apparently doesn’t work on 64-bit systems.

  4. In that case, you may want to consider AIGLX/Compiz, as AIGLX doesn’t require one of the binary drivers provided by nVidia or ATI (whereas Xgl does require one of the binary drivers to work). You can find more info, and package repositories for that stuff at http://www.compiz.net/ :)

  5. gosh, i’ve never been a fan of linux. or maybe because the country i live in is more centralized in windows.

    the interface befuddles me the first time i tried linux. but good of this os, however, is that it is hardly infiltrated by viruses/trojans. is it?

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