Last week, I felt the itch to upgrade my laptop’s Ubuntu distro to Feisty Fawn, with the end in view of installing ubuntu-miminal package and then choose which X applications to install, which would not be too resource-hungry given my laptop’s make.
The other day, I scratched it. But the itch became a bit stingy because of the glitches I encountered along the way. First, the installer download was very slow; oftentimes, connection got lost. Second, it was very difficult to buy a CD that our CD writer would burn without any file-read error afterwards.
Actually, it was the second problem that really upset me. I wasted money, time and effort burning a lot of ‘broken’ (?) CDs. What upset me more was my decision to use an installer CD that I suspected to have a read-error problem. I managed to proceed with the installation but when I was already in the package installation stage, the file-read error popped out. Grrr!
What should I do, I asked myself in an imploring manner. Don’t fret, Dong. Be feisty!
Aha! I got an idea. Since I was connected to the Internet with fast connection, why not install Breezy Badger (5.10) with server option first and then upgrade from there to Feisty?
So here’s what I did:
- Install Breezy Badger (5.10) with server as option. (Meaning, base system and no X app would be installed.)
- Upgrade to Dapper Drake (6.04) through the Internet. (Which was very fast, giving me an average bandwidth of 150kbps.)
- Upgrade to Edgy Eft (6.10) through the Internet. (Which was as fast as the previous version.)
- Upgrade to Feisty Fawn (7.04) Beta. Expectedly, the connection was relatively slower. But a beggar in me could not choose. I lived with it.
- Install xorg-7.2 and related packages like xfonts. (I thought that xfonts would automatically be downloaded and installed along with xorg.)
- Install icewm and related packages (e.g., icewm-themes). Yes, I’ve loved IceWM because of its default keyboard shortcuts that work almost like Gnome as well as its cool toolbar.
- Install X packages alternative to Gnome and KDE:
- rox (file-manager)
- eog (image viewer)
- xpdf (PDF reader)
- XChat (chat client)
- centericq (terminal-based Yahoo! Messenger client and more)
- raggle (feed reader)
- mutt, postfix, fetchmail, procmail (mail package)
- xterm (I have refrained from using Konsole nor Gnome-Terminal; Of course, I’ve missed the multi-tabs feature of the two but I can live with a number of xterms taking up my desktop space.)
- OpenOffice 2.2 RC3 (LOL, this is the only resource-hungry app that I can afford to have.)
- Firefox (LOL, “the other only” resource-hungry app that I can afford to install.)
- xmms, cplay (music player)
- xine (movie player)
- links, dillo (two low-profile browsers I frequently use aside from FF)
Nope, I’m not using any display manager. My runlevel defaults to 2. I fire up startx from the first tty.
And I didn’t install usplash, either. I don’t want to confuse people that I’m using Ubuntu but my machine looks like I’m running a very different distro. 🙂
As a result, I’m now using a machine that hosts the latest Ubuntu kernel (2.6.20) and runs very fast, with an average of 60 processes started. Before, the number was over 100, which left my system crawling.