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Xubuntu To The Rescue!

Well, after setting up a friend’s laptop (older Compaq, 512MB Ram), the expected happened 2 months later and I was summoned to perform surgery on the hd.

Somehow, several worms and Smitfraud variants “mysteriously” appeared and XP wouldn’t boot into the OS after login.

Apparently, her adult son and his friends were surfing and downloading everything (which I had warned against, several times), and had managed to infect the machine severely enough to warrant a complete wipe and OS re-install.

She is not a technical person, this is her first computer, and she had expressed several times how she wanted a system that worked so she could check email, send pictures to family, etc. I suggested Xubuntu and explained how she wouldn’t have to worry about the virus thing any longer, and she was ecstatic.

While I was preparing the PC for her the first time around, her other son said that she was comfortable with Windows (completely false) and that he didn’t want me to install Linux on the box because it would be too complicated for her (even more complicated than having to pay me to come fix it?).

In the end, I ran a quick round of DBAN and installed Xubuntu, to which she can’t give enough praise: “It’s so fast!” “It looks wonderful!” “It’s so easy” etc…

So, once again, huge props to the Xubuntu devs and much love to the Linux community 🙂


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Filed under 1 3 Recovery Loop/Crash Fix

After going around and around in the document recovery loop/crash with the newest OpenOffice (3), I have decided to document my steps and post the resolution in hopes that it will help many of our Linux brethren 🙂

I went through the following:
Completely uninstalled OpenOffice 2 and the installation of OpenOffice 3
I installed OpenOffice 3 (sudo dpkg -i *.deb) from within the DEBS folder
I then installed desktop integration from the desktop-integration folder

I renamed .openoffice.org2 to openoffice.org2.backup

I deleted the Recovery.xcu file


When I’d start OpenOffice from shell (soffice) and (soffice -writer), it immediately went right into Document Recovery mode and gave this output in Bash:
terminate called after throwing an instance of ‘com::sun::star::uno::RuntimeException’
terminate called after throwing an instance of ‘com::sun::star::uno::RuntimeException’

I also had made sure that the .openoffice and .openoffice2 folders were not owned by root

Finally, I found this post:

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Xubuntu Intrepid Beta Mini-Walkthrough

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Xubuntu has knocked me off of my feet with its speed, beauty and ease of use.

I downloaded the Xubuntu 8.10 “Intrepid Ibex” alternative install (Beta), fired up VirtualBox (Ubuntu Hardy host) and took it for a test drive. Overall, this release feels a tiny bit heavier in regards to resource usage, but that’s probably because I’m only giving VirtualBox 180 megs of RAM to work with and things would no doubt be different on a real install.

After the install, it was just a matter of letting Update Manager run a partial upgrade, and voila, the lightweight but powerful Xubuntu was ready for business.

Overall, this is a very robust and excellent offering from the Xubuntu team and is perfect for anybody with aging hardware and also for those who want a blazing fast distro to use with modern hardware.

The “Last successful boot” option isn’t here on the Beta, but should be on the final 8.10 release

The alternate install offers full volume encryption and pre-boot authentication

The login screen looks great, minus the mismatched box 😉

The update manager popped right up and proceeded to upgrade to the latest packages

Tons of included apps offering tons of functionality with the endless freedoms that come with FLOSS (Free Libre Open Source Software)

The host is an older low-end Fry’s special with 384 megs of ram, 32 megs of shared video memory and an AMD Sempron 2400+, but even with the low specs and Xubuntu having only 180 megs of ram allocated to it through VirtualBox, it still hummed right along

Intuitive system configuration menu makes tweaking and administering your system a breeze

“Furthermore, Dell’s DKMS (Dynamic Kernel Module Support) is included, which allows new kernel drivers to be rebuilt without having to wait for rebuilds of driver packages.”

Xubuntu 8.10 is shipping with the latest Gimp release!

All in all, I’m ecstatic about this release and want to thank Canonical and all the *buntu devs for all of the great releases and their hard work! 🙂

Get Xubuntu!

Countdown to Xubuntu ( 8.10, by Pasi Lallinaho


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