Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Ubuntu 11.10 Classic Desktop on a Dell Latitude D430

As a late Xmas present, I acquired a Dell Latitude D430 (Core2Duo, 1.33Ghz, 2GB RAM, 60GB HDD, Intel 950 graphics), it's very lightweight and works well with Linux. It has no DVD drive built in but I installed with a USB DVD writer, there's also a docking station avalable with one built in. I decided to try some Ubuntu Gnome Classic aka the old Gnome Fallback option since Gnome-shell doesn't work on this laptop and I'm still not keen on Unity (it still feels slow, and restricted options-wise, and I can't work with Global Menus). I have also been using Xubuntu, but I thought I'd give Classic a try.

I Installed Gnome Classic using 'sudo apt-get install gnome-session-fallback' then logged out and in and changed the session to 'GNOME Classic' I used this AskUbuntu post to get Compiz working properly, adding 'compiz --replace' to startup items and editing /usr/share/gnome-session/sessions/gnome-classic.session, replacing "RequiredProviders=windowmanager;notifications;" with "RequiredProviders=windowmanager;"

I installed compizconfig-settings-manager and enabled Snapping Windows, Shift Switcher, Window Previews and Wobbly Windows. Make sure the Unity Plugin is not enabled. In addition, since for some reason right click + alt does not seem to be working on my Gnome Classic panels, I run Cairo Dock so my most used applications are easy to launch. Cairo Dock is a lot more flexible than the Unity dock, you can move it to any side of the screen and, I think it looks much nicer. I also found this good list of Ubuntu Indicators and installed the System Load Indicator, CPUFreq, My Weather Indicator, and Hardware Sensors Indicator. Here's how my desktop looks: (click for larger image). EDIT: I have found out, from this howto, that Winkey + Alt + Right Click is used to add items to the panel.