Linux is for girls!

by Stephen Fluin 2009.04.11

I recently convinced my fiancée to adopt Linux (Ubuntu) when her laptop kept having problems accessing our wireless network. It has been a little bit of a rough ride for her with numerous issues. I was a little too ambitious with my first install, and I tried to install a Jaunty Jackalope beta, which didn't boot after installation. Downloading and installing Intrepid Ibex worked. She was very excited that Photoshop CS4 works on Linux, but she was disappointed that Wine can't enable Illustrator to work properly.

We have encountered a lot of difficulties that we have overcome:

  1. KDE didn't have the types of transparencies she had gotten use to in Windows 7. We attempted to configure KDE 4.x's compositing, but our first couple of tries installed the wrong proprietary drivers for 3D acceleration on her Radeon card. We finally found the right drivers, and it appeared that there was a graphic glitch on the K-start menu. We even installed Gnome in an attempt to work around the problem. Although she liked gnome, and made a very nice pink theme, she continued to prefer KDE, so we switched her session back. After a lot of frustrating troubleshooting, we discovered that it was a problem unique to the theme she had chosen. We chose a new theme and the problem was resolved.
  2. The next biggest issue we had was connecting her Linux machine to the samba share on our server. Whatever we tried, she couldn't login with her username and password like she had in the past. Several hours of troubleshooting resulted in the discovery that I had mis-configured the samba shares. After attempting to figure out the correct configuration, we decided to give up and remove the security restrictions. As I was removing the security restriction, I decided spontaneously to attempt a new, simpler configuration. I browsed to the network on her laptop, and everything began to work.
Her desktop environmentHer Desktop Environment
My desktop environmentMy desktop environment