8.1. My Experience on Linux

Nowadays everyone knows linux knows what’s ubuntu, which is almost the most popular release of linux. On the other hand , Arch Linux, as a Linux distribution intended to be lightweight and simple, is widely used by geeks and semi-geeks like me.

When I was a fresh man to the college of mathematics, it was forbiden to bring a computer to our dorm. However, the rule did not stop me from get my own computer. I bought a second-hand desktop pc with 700 RMB. A second-hand computer has many benefits:

  1. If the teacher want to confiscate it. It’s cheap.
  2. I can play with it in any way i like, no need to worry about anything went wrong with it. If it won’t work any more, it’s just a few money. In the process, I learnt many thing about the computer from hardware to softwares.
  3. When I’m allow to have my own pc by the school, I can sell this second-hand pc without much lose. And, the fact is I sold it for 700 RMB, about 7 months later, before that I cost 200 yuan to upgrade the memery from 256M to 1G.

8.1.1. Ubuntu

8.1.1.1. First try

In the summer holiday, I tried to set up a ubuntu on the cheap computer, but I failed. Because I didn’t have a experienced linuxer beside, and even didn’t have a CD, I tried to install it by from my usb flash-disk, witch is a little more complicate. Anyway, I failed on this thing that summer.

8.1.1.2. First success try

Serveral months later, I bought a laptop, and someone burned a ubuntu cd for me. Then, for the first time, I got a ubuntu on laptop. I installed ubuntu in the way called Wubi, witch is the most safe and easy way to install a linux with windows. Just insert the CD and then install it just as a normal windows software. Nothing chanllenging in the process, and it’s fit for a newbie.

On my first ubuntu, I learnt to use vi, to code fortran in vi. And something else I cann’t remember clearly. It took me a lot of time to config some of the system. One thing I still remember is that the flash plogin always had some problems, while I didn’t know which to install. The media player also spent me much time.

However, at that days, I often use putty in windows to connect to the linux server to do these, for I was still tied to windows.

8.1.1.3. Install ubuntu on a separate disk partition

Some days later, I found that there is a partition on my disk was used for the windows-xp-ghost software, witch takes about 10G space. I think it’s totally a waste, and want make use of it.

Ok, at this time, ubuntu is updated to 9.04, and I borrowed a CD from a classmate. As it’s my first time to install it on the harddisk, I call him for some help.

However, the process turn out to be quit easy, no help is needed. My classmate was just standing by and smile. Just format the tail of my harddisk, and press next, select the keyboard layout, timezone, language, finally click finish.

This time follow the advice of a brother, I choose english as the default language. It turned out to be a wise choice, I think.

On this version of operating system. I learnt latex, CUDA(GPU programming), etc. Although, my latex is mostly learnt on windows in ctex. And I’m still not a purely linuxer.

8.1.1.4. Expand my Ubuntu partition size and upgrade from soft ware center

Blablabla... About a year later, I got more engaged into ubuntu, I want to install many softwares in my ubuntu. However, 10G is really a small space when I want to install MATLAB 2009 and then mathematica 7.

At the beginning of a winter holiday, I reformat the tail of my hard-disk. I deleted the F partition of windows and merge it to the linux partition. Then, I happily got about 40 G space for ubuntu.

This time I installed ubuntu 10.04. And when 11.04 turns out, I upgraded it imediately from the software source.

Why I brucely upgrade from software center?

Because the wireless net driver of 10.04 has some deadly problem.

Now my laptop is on ubuntu 11.04, and it also has some problem of it’s screen saver. I don’t whether it’s caused by the upgration.

While the time of 10.04 10.10 and 11.04, I learned the python programming language. I had a intern ship in a software campany. And I learned to maintain a centos 5.5 server. Meanwhile, I imigrate from vim to emacs, and almost write every things in emacs.

Finally, I got to be a totally linuxer, I almost do every work on ubuntu.

8.1.2. Arch

I heared of arch for the first from the brother who suggest me English as the default language. And then, a year ago, one of my classmates installed arch on his laptop. Finally, I tried arch this summer. This summer I got to the laboratory, and there is a desktop on my desk. There are several reasons I choose arch this time

  1. This mechine is quite old(bought about five year ago). While Arch is light weight.
  2. The previous system is ubuntu 9.04 which is out of support.
  3. Arch is recomanded by a bro in the laboratory.
  4. I got to like things that is simple, such as my ‘jeans & white T-shirt’ wears.
  5. Arch seems to be more geeky.
  6. No ubuntu CD is at hand, and my usb flashdisk is too small to make a ubuntu boot disk now. My usb flashdisk is only 1G and 2G is needed.