Installing Kubuntu Dapper Drake

Today I decided to install Kubuntu Dapper Drake from scratch. While I have been running versions for months this is my first full install of the final release.

I downloaded and burned the DVD version. I booted it up on my old IBM T20 ThinkPad. My first surprise was that it was taking a long time to start up. Eventually, I understood why. It is really a live CD that gets itself up and running with no user questions. That surprised me but what surprised me more was the Install icon on the desktop. Ok, I get it now.

I clicked on the icon and the questions started. Installation language was first. Next, a world map titled Where are you? appeared for you to pick your location so you can set the timezone. Cute. I settled on Costa Rica (because I am ignoring Nicaragua's "new time") and went on to the next step. Keyboard layout.

Next a page of questions: your name, login you want, password and computer name. Another surprise: I entered fyl as my login name and it picked fyl-laptop as my computer name. Now, I didn't tell it that this was a laptop. Pretty cool.

The fifth screen was potentially the most complicated: Prepare disk space. But, the default was use the entire disk. I picked manually edit and did it my way. But, the default would have probably been fine. Even partitioning was easy with a GUI-based editor.

Next, I picked mount points and said I wanted the partitions formatted. Again, will pull-down lists and check-boxes. No surprises here either. This was just getting too easy. The final menu was no exception. It was just a summary of what I had picked. I clicked Install.

Dialog boxes appeared telling me what was happening such as creating the file partitions. Thus, I knew something was happening and if the details mattered, they were there. If you don't care you just know the system didn't crash.

Once the installer got to copying files it told me it had about eight minutes left to complete. Considering the speed of this laptop, I was pretty happy and went to writing this information.

During the install step I noticed two strange things. The first was that the remaining time would sometimes go up. More disturbing, the clock on the desktop was wrong. I attribute this to the fact that the desktop was up before the installer asked for timezone information so there is no reason to expect it to be updated but it did make me think for a bit. Well, down to 20 seconds so I will stop writing for a while.

More dialogs telling me that various things were getting configured. Then, a warning that said "Cannot access security updates". Sounds scary but as this distribution was just released, there probably aren't any. So, not scared yet. (Subsequently realized this was because the other end of the ethernet cable wasn't connected.)

The next dialog offered a choice. Either continue running the system from the live CD or reboot the new system. I picked reboot. After the reboot and login, the time was correct including, apparently, going to an NTP server to get the actual time as the clock was a few minutes off. Starting up Konqueror and going to showed that the network got automatically configured correctly including the plug-in wireless card.

This story is about an installation so I will stop writing now. To me, the bottom like is that people can no longer say "I can't figure out how to install Linux".

fyl - Tue, 2006-06-13 13:55.

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Use Automatix to continue your install

I extended my install (of Kubuntu 6.06) with the non-free packages by using Automatix, which I do recommend.

* The main Automatix page at:
* Howto: Install Automatix once and get automatic updates henceforth at:
* A list of what's available is at:

* Add to /etc/apt/sources.list
# Automatix
deb dapper main

* Add the getautomatix site's security certificate..
sudo gpg --keyserver --recv-keys 521A9C7C
sudo gpg --export --armor 521A9C7C | sudo apt-key add -
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install automatix

* Start K-menu > System > Automatix

* Select which products you want to install.
** Note: Automatix is GNOME biased, I use KDE, so most products I did not want to install.

* I personally selected...
Acrobat Reader
Archiving Tools
AUD-DVD codecs
Bittorrent Clients
Debian Menu
Eject CD from Drive
Firefox 1.5.3 Plugins
MS TFF Fonts
Media Players
MPlayer and Firefox Plugin
Multimedia codecs

** Manually Reply [yes] for...
*** Sun Java 1.5 RJE
*** Flashplayer
** Warning! The default is NO - pay attention and tab to [YES]

* When asked about the sources.list, reply [CANCEL] - we WANT TO KEEP the Automatix version.
** and so far I've gotten 3 updates so it's being activly maintained.


* Selecting Sun Java 1.5 RJE seems to install j14re
* I don't think it should be selected and anyway Java15JRE is automatically installed by something else in this selection list.

Lindsay Keir (not verified) - Thu, 2006-06-22 00:38.

Kubuntu 6.06

Well, I'd heard lots of stuff about (K)Ubuntu, from members of my LUG, so when I managed to mess up the SuSE 10.1 install I'd been using it was a "no brainer" to give it a try.

I'd previously had a go with a debian derivative distro, so was aware of the benefits of the APT packaging system.

The distro itself seemed to install OK - the only annoyance being that it detected my Nvidia graphics card, and promptly used the generic "nv" driver - which has never performed well on my system (don't know why) - so I had to meddle a bit to change to the "vesa" driver until I had got my head round installing the nvidia proprietary driver.

I also noticed that although the kubuntu was released with kde 3.5.2 there had already been the upgrades to kde 3.5.3 made available with good instruction on how to implement it.

The only problem has been that in the two and a half weeks since I installed it, there have been further upgrades to some of the kde packages, this included a kernel upgrade. All went well, except the usual re-install of the nvidia driver. It seems that some of the package repositories/mirrors took a while before all the addtional packages became available - I can tell you it took some major hunting to track down a repo/mirror that had them - though once I found one, it was very straight forward to sort that out.

The "upgrades available" icon that appears on the toolbar when "they" (upgrades) are available it an excellent concept.

My only gripe, is that it uses sudo (which IMO is no safer than the unwise practice of using only a root account i.e. no user), instead of the more conventional "proper" root and user methods of system access/management. It's rather curious trying to get used to that, when I've had the last four and a half years of automatically opening a root terminal to do system managed procedures. Thus far, I haven't worked out how to get rid of sudo, but it's only a matter of time.

I consider that a minor inconvenience. The one thing that I thought of as a "medium" level issue was that of sorting out "sources". There is plenty of stuff around to tell you how to add addtional sources so that the package manager knows where to look for packages, but I recently found an excellent site that greatly aids this.

One of the few things I thought a new user might find a little confusing was the concept of sources/repositories/locations. I found an excellent site the other day at which, seems to be the (K)Ubuntu equivalent of the excellent "easyurpmi" site for mandriva users. It seemed that it could make the management of the "sources.list" infinitely easier.

Overall, I was left with the impression that Kubuntu/Ubuntu provides pretty much everything a new user might need while going through the initial "dipping the toe in the linux waters" phase.

A good place to start for those with no linux experience, yet enough for those with some prior knowledge and experience.



fatbloke (not verified) - Wed, 2006-06-21 12:52.

Getting Rid of sudo

While it doesn't get rid of sudo, life is a lot easier
if you issue the command "sudo su". You are now
effectively root.

Jim Mullin (not verified) - M - , 2006-07-31 22:36.


Just can not figure it out. I tried the live ver 5 and it worked well on my desktop but when I tried to install it kept freezing at the partition section even when I tried an install on a wiped drive with not partitions. So installed Mandriva with no issues. Also have had Redhat on the computer with no problems.

I tried the version 6 and it will not even boot into the live version. Also, tried to do an install with the same result.

This is the first distribution of Linux I've had problems with on the computer. Only challenge with the others has been with the Nvidia card or occaisionally the sound card.

Very weird.

Brian (not verified) - Wed, 2006-06-21 09:12.


I personally didn't like the fact that it loaded the LiveCD. Why sit and wait for all that to load when I could have already been installing? Other then that I think Dapper is great. I like that it now has an update notification in the system tray like Suse does.

Tim (not verified) - Tue, 2006-06-20 07:09.

Ubuntu 6.06

No bad. It sits on and is based upon the Debian Linux OS which I've been a fan of for many years. I've been running U-6.06 since its inception and so far it has been pretty solid. What I like is the ease at connecting to Windows Shares now too. It has been an area that either worked or didn't.
Also....The sound card just WORKED!!! That blew me away too.
As always there seems to be problems with NVidia Cards. For some reason the Auto-detection messes up on certain TNT cards.
Well, enjoy people and try to get a few friends to join the Linux World. Give them a "Live CD". After all, it is Free and Open to the World!!!!

JohnnyB (not verified) - Sun, 2006-06-18 18:07.

Dapper Drake

I too am a new Ubuntu user. Now, I have been using Linux since 1996. And I have been using Linux on the laptop since then too. In fact, my first Linux install was Slackware 96 on a Toshiba Satellite T2400CT 486/DX2. I still have that machine running DSL.

When I bought this new Compaq V5125 the first thing I did was down load and burn Breezy Badger and install it on this machine. I did not boot up this machine until I had that CD ready. Then I did the ol' paper clip thing to pop open the DVD/CD ROM drive and booted it right up into the Breezy install.

Now, I think that the folk at got their naming scheme off by one. Breezy was anything but on this machine. I could not use the pointer device (a synaptics touch pad) if the DVD/CD ROM was in use. Because the pointer would go (as we say here in Texas) "Hay wire". Jumping all over the screen poping up various random windows as it went. Getting the wireless network device to work was another head ache. I got that working and dealt with the screwy mouse for a couple of weeks. I had finally had it. I had decided to give Fedora core with all of it's problems a try.

But in investigating my problems in the Ubuntu forums, I learned that many people who had the same problems I was having, were faring far better with Dapper Drake, (still pre release at that time). So I downloaded, burned and intalled Dapper Drake.

What a difference a name makes! Dapper went on just fine. It detected the wireless card (although I had to extract the firmware from the Widuhs driver to make it functional). And the mouse behaved as well in Ubuntu as it did in Windows. Yes, I did keep the Windows partition around for things like investigating why the mouse was so freaky and how to get Wireless working.

I have since re-reinstalled Dapper, primarily to get rid of the Windows partition. I still dual boot. But now it it between the 32 bit and 64 bit Kernels.

Oh, BTW. If you have an AMD 64 and are running Windows "anything except Windows 2003 Enterprise", you are only running in 32 bit mode. I learned that when ndiswrapper for the wireless card did not work first go around. I had to go to a site of questionable legallity and download the 64 bit Windows driver. Then ndiswrapper worked fine. That was under Breeze. I used the same 64 bit driver as a source for extracting the firmware code to get the native Dapper broadcom driver working with my wireless device.

I am really impressed with Dapper. It will stay on this machine, atleast until the next Ubuntu Release. I will say this though. If you have a 64 bit machine, make your life a little easier by installing the 32 bit install along side the 64 bit install. There are still some things, (Java plugin for Firefox for instance) that do not work easily in the 64 bit environment. I am writing this from the 32bit environment.

The only things I would would suggest to the developers are

  1. Provide the firmware for the Broadcom wireless adapter at install time.
  2. Use MPlayer instead of totem for the default Media Player.

Kevin Hudson

Kevin Huds - (not verified) - Wed, 2006-06-14 18:16.

Starting to enjoy Ubuntu

I first began playing with Linux '04 with Slackware so I'm fairly late in the game. My primary distro now is VectorLinux and I love it because it is just so much quicker than basically everything else while still being more newbie friendly.

I first tried Ubuntu 4.x, "Hoary" I believe. It was _slow_ and I just wasn't nuts about it. I tried Xubuntu6.06 beta2 when it came out though, and I really like it. XFCE isn't quite robust enough for me, but download of Ubuntu 6.06 took are of that.

I don't think I'll be giving up Vector anytime soon, but Ubuntu is the first distro that has really started me thinking about switching the rest of the family to Linux. It just simply works. I have really longed for OSX86 to be released for PC so I can stay with the hardware I like, but also use a great OS for the family (legally), but with Ubuntu improving the way it is, it certainly could be a soild stopgap until then, at the least.

Still have to figure out wine and how to get MSOffice2000 to work, but Ubuntu has brought me one step closer to Linux as the primary OS for the household, and to that I have respect.

VectorFan (not verified) - Tue, 2006-06-20 05:51.