I decided it was time for my laptop to receive a fresh install of Kubuntu. For some reason the old install wouldn’t start any more and with version 13.04 Raring Ringtail just released I figured why not do a nice fresh install.
My usual modus operandi is download the new version, add the ISO to a Multisystem boot USB stick. This didn’t work this time how ever. Adding to the USB drive worked fine booting for the USB drive worked fine. Installing seemed to work great as well. It wasn’t until a reboot into the freshly installed system that I noticed a problem, Kubuntu 13.04 wouldn’t boot. It would go through all the motions, Grub -> Starting screen Kubuntu then blank screen. No login no KDE desktop as expected. After thinking about it for a while and trying different things I came to the conclusion that the generic ATI driver must be broken.
I repeated the process with Ubuntu and Xubuntu 13.04 both ended up with a blank screen. I solved the problem by taking a Xubuntu 12.04 cd and installing from that, then upgrading to 12.10 and from 12.10 to 13.04. This gave me a working Xubuntu 13.04 Raring Ringtail install on my laptop. I might have been able to fix it but I couldn’t even get to a terminal window.
Weird this had never happened before with any of the new releases, they always installed fine and worked out of the box. After some research it seems that some how the ATI packages got broken. My graphics card in this Laptop( a thinkpad edge 14″) is
product: RS880M [Mobility Radeon HD 4225/4250]. This is older hardware and ATI in all of it’s wisdom decided to not support older chip-sets any more in it’s legacy driver.
Gallium is the open source driver used to circumvent that but for some reason it doesn’t seem to be working right. For me this is a problem, I would like to upgrade my HTPC which currently runs Kubuntu 12.10. But I am not sure if the problems with the legacy drivers will affect my dual boot, I run that box on both my tv and a lcd monitor. Until I read reports that this is fixed, or until I get a new graphics card for my HTPC I think I will hold of on upgrading that box.
If you are l33t then you shouldn’t be here in the first place this article isn’t meant for you. If you are a beginner(n00b) to Ubuntu, Xubuntu or Kubuntu then this might be for you. I recently installed a different boot loader, I wanted to test FreeBSD, this broke Grub2. It would only load the FreeBSD boot loader but that boot loader wouldn’t load Xubuntu(which I now run on my laptop, but more about that later). The same could happen to you if you decide to reinstall Windows or maybe a different version of Linux.
It used to be a pain to get Grub working again having to run some terminal commands, great for advanced users but not so much for the n00b who just started using Ubuntu, Xubuntu or Kubuntu. There is a solution for that. To repair Grub we can now use the boot-repair application developed for those of us who can not wrap our heads about running terminal commands(don’t worry terminal is still my favorite way of doing everything).
Installing and using boot-repair is really just two simple steps:
Start by downloading, or grabbing your Ubuntu, Xubuntu or Kubuntu live cd or Live USB. Start op Ubuntu, Xubuntu or Kubuntu using the live CD/USB. Open terminal and type the commands below.
Ubuntu to get terminal: hit the application search(top button in the left bar) and type terminal then hit enter.
Xubuntu to get terminal: Right click on the desktop and click “Open Terminal Here”.
Kubuntu to get terminal: hit atl>F2 type terminal en hit enter.
Step 1, add the boot-repair repository:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:yannubuntu/boot-repair && sudo apt-get update
Step 2, install and run boot-repair:
sudo apt-get install -y boot-repair && (sudo boot-repair &)
That’s it boot-repair will start and you can hit the top button to start the process. In most cases it will just repair your Grub, restart and done working Grub again.
It is time to say good bye to yet another piece of software that I have been using for a while now. This time it’s Boxee, I found out after upgrading my HTPC to Kubuntu 12.04 that Boxee was not working anymore. I figured I would check Boxee.TV to download the new version, this is what I had to do in the past to get Boxee to work again.
Only this time I found out Boxee stopped all support for anything but the Boxee box, iPad and iPhone. Basically screwing over longtime supporter’s of their software, the people that helped debug the very software that we are now not able to use anymore. Well that said they do still offer the source code so you could compile from scratch. But when you have a HTPC you don’t really want to be doing that, since the whole family is using it. So it just has to work. There is nothing worse then a wife or child bitching at you because an update of the system broke Boxee.
So it is back to XBMC for me. Since I last left XBMC behind for Boxee they have really grown up. XBMC now makes for a pretty solid media player for the HTPC. Some of that might be because of the wide spread use of Boxee that was once the norm. Boxee was based on XBMC and I am sure that they did contribute to some of the development and perhaps redevelopment of XBMC.
The nicest thing I found is that XBMC has a solid remote control app for Android devices. Making it easy to use my Android tablet to control the XBMC running on my HTPC. I am still figuring out what add-on’s to use for playlists or watch lists. But as I use it more I will figure that out too.
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