Linux for the Desktop

I have mostly been a Linux from the command line kind of person. I would rarely come across X Windows. Recently I decided to experiment with Linux for the desktop. Needless to say have heard people raving about Ubuntu. Furthermore I have mostly been a Redhat user, and had only used the Debian distribution briefly in the past.

I got the Ubuntu 9.10 Netbook Remix off the Australian PC Authority magazine to have a bit of a play with. It was good because it actually let me resize the existing partitions on my notebook. I had a play, and was moderately impressed by it. The interface was reasonably fluid and the performance was ok. However it was not too my liking. I felt that it lacked a lot of features and flexibility, would would be ideal for the average desktop user, just looking for netbook features.

Needing more features and a complete set of Linux utilities and applications, I downloaded the Ubuntu 9.10 Desktop ISO image and installed off the CD. The first step was to update all the package, for some reason the Austrlian servers were not reachable and the connection timed out. I changed the "Update Manager" "Settings" to "Download from:" the "Main Server". This worked well.

Next step was to make is look like an Apple Mac :) using the Mac4Lin installation. Before running the installation program I had to execute "sudo apt-get install emerald" to make things a bit easier. I previous Google suggested creating the following folders "~/.themes" and "~/.icons". This was done and I ran the install script. So far so good.

Now to get the AWN (Avant Window Navigation) dock working.  "sudo apt-get install avant-window-navigation". 10 seconds and a couple of automatic dependency installs later the "Awn Manager" was available under "Preferences", and after adding the Max4Lin theme in AWN, and setting it to auto start, I launched the AWN and there was much coolness to be observed...

To get the complete look you need to go through all the steps in the PDF manual available from Mac4Lin but the end result is quite satisfying in a cheezy sort of way. For people like me who cannot afford to pay for a proper Apple mac, this poor man's mac combines the GUI of (similar to) an Apple and the flexibility of a stable Linux distribution.

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