Category Archives: Distros

Linux: HTPC

I set up an HTPC. I wanted it to do several things:

  • Play my local and network music, TV, and movie files
  • Play and record over-the-air television
  • Stream videos from the internet
  • Play and stream Steam games
  • Do desktop browser things, including YouTube and Twitch

These are just my notes on what exactly I did, in case I ever need to reinstall or do it all again for some reason or another.

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Linux: From Arch to Debian

Last week, with mixed feelings, I switched from Arch Linux to Debian Stable.

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Linux: Arch Switch to Systemd

Arch has switched to systemd. With that guide, migration on both of my computers was simple. That is all.

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Distro: Linux Mint 12

Admittedly, I haven’t spend too much time with Mint 12. Just enough time to take a look at how it differed from Mint 11.

The change from Gnome 2 to Gnome 3 is noticeable, but extremely well done. The developers created MGSE, the Mint Gnome Shell Extension, which makes Gnome 3 look and behave a lot like, well, Gnome 2. My two panels are there, my right-click button is there, my regular lovely MintMenu is there. And if a user wants to use Gnome 3 (I don’t really, but some do), the GUI app allows the user to remove the extensions easily, making a pure Gnome 3 desktop.

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Distro: ArchBang

I’d been meaning to try ArchBang for awhile. I heard that it was basically Arch with some extra things added, and I hadn’t heard wrong.

Its installer is very similar to Arch’s, minus a couple of configurations that I never changed anyway. It’s when you reboot into the installation that ArchBang differentiates itself. It comes with the X server, the openbox window manager, the tint2 panel, the pcmanfm file manager, the geeqie image viewer, and some other basic lightweight desktop applications and helpers preinstalled. Some I’d already used (openbox, pcmanfm), and some I’d learned about from ArchBang and use now (tint2, oblogout, geeqie).

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Distro: Arch Linux

Arch Linux is a terrific distribution. I use it as my primary OS on a daily basis. But my first installation took a week. That was a rather special case, but still; a week! I almost gave up completely.

My biggest issue wasn’t the installer itself. The Arch Wiki Beginners’ Guide makes it very clear, taking you step by step through the process of getting it on your system. I’d also spent some time in the console during college, so using vim for configuration didn’t throw me too badly. But I tried Arch on my older HP dv1000, and it uses the Broadcom b43 wireless driver and firmware. It’s not Arch’s fault; many supposedly out-of-the-box distros have neglected to install the firmware. I also didn’t have Ethernet access, so I had another computer open to access the Arch Wiki and download various necessary packages. I was using my little USB thumb drive, mounting it every time, and crossing my fingers that this fix or that fix (generally from the extremely helpful Arch Forums) would magically make wireless appear.

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Distro: Linux Mint 11

I really liked Linux Mint. I’d recommend it to anyone starting out with Linux.

Its installation process made my first Linux installation simple. I was new to partitioning, so the lack of extended partition capability didn’t bother me. Otherwise, the process was incredibly straightforward. There’s a nice little introduction to Mint and its packaged software during install, so I took a look at that.

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