Ubuntu Linux, Day 6: In Search of Unity

Page 2 of 2

The install process enables the wireless adapter and detects Wi-Fi networks so that Ubuntu can download and install updates during the installation process. I was presented with three choices for installing Ubuntu--along side Windows, obliterating Windows and replacing it with Ubuntu, or "something else".

It seemed to me that the dual boot scenario I was looking for could be described as "along side Windows" so I chose that option. It was the wrong option.

Ubuntu installation is fairly easy--but there are too many options for a Linux novice.
I was expecting to be presented with a screen where I could choose which partition to install Ubuntu to, so I could select my newly created 50GB partition. Instead, Ubuntu Linux installed "along side Windows" in the same 450GB partition where Windows is already installed. Apparently, I was supposed to choose "something else" in order to accomplish the installation the way I intended.

Once the installation completed, the system restarted and a boot menu listed choices for me to choose from--including Ubuntu Linux, or the Windows loader I am used to. I chose to boot into Ubuntu Linux.

With this install, Ubuntu Linux detected that my graphics card is capable of handling Unity, but that I needed to download and install better drivers. I did so, and I rebooted, and...well, there is good news and bad news. The good news is that I finally got the Unity interface to work. The bad news is that it no longer works via HDMI with my external monitor. So, I can use Unity, but now I have to use my laptop as a laptop because it doesn't work with my monitor.

As of right now, I can start Ubuntu Linux three different ways. I can plug in my USB drive with Ubuntu and it will go straight into that OS. I can just boot the laptop, and I will be presented with the Ubuntu boot menu where I can choose between this latest install of Ubuntu, or the Windows loader. If I choose the Windows loader, I can select between booting into Windows, or booting into the Wubi install of Ubuntu.

I will do some cleanup. I plan to remove the Wubi install and erase the USB drive version. As for the local install, I am going to go back to the Ubuntu installation which offers an option now to erase the Ubuntu 11.04 install and reinstall. Hopefully, I can get the right option this time to really get Ubuntu Linux on a separate hard drive partition from Windows.

Now that I have Unity, I will dive into it and the Day 7 post will focus on my experience with Unity. In the meantime--if any of you Linux gurus have some advice for getting my Ubuntu Linux with Unity to work on my external monitor via HDMI, feel free to share.

Read the last "30 Days" Series: 30 Days with Google Docs

Day 5: You Invited Me to This Party

Day 7: Lessons from the Unity Trenches

To comment on this article and other PCWorld content, visit our Facebook page or our Twitter feed.
| 1 2 Page 2
Shop Tech Products at Amazon