Learning Linux: LXLE

It has been awhile since I have posted; unfortunately, school and life has gotten in the way. This post will not be detailed, but a summation of my activities.

Find A Linux Distro That Works

Micro Center USB Drive
Micro Center USB Drive

I initially chose to install Lubuntu, which is a version of Ubuntu Linux, that is meant work on older machines. Before that I purchased two things, a USB drive and a cheap mouse, both from the local Micro Center. I wanted to make this project as cheap as possible, so both came to less than $12 in total. Linux is open source, and therefore free, so my drive and mouse was my greatest cost so far.

I did attempt a battery purchase from a seller on Amazon, but was sent a charger instead. I returned the charger and decided to worry about a battery later.

Cheap Mouse
Cheap Mouse

As I said, I had chosen Lubuntu, which is available for download from the Ubuntu site. Ubuntu comes in all shapes and sizes depending on your needs, so it pays to do your research. Lubuntu contains the same kernel as Ubuntu, with the difference being a reduction in included software.

Screenshot of UNetbootin Homepage
Screenshot of UNetbootin Homepage

The download is a compressed image that must be unzipped before saving it to the USB. Special software is needed to properly save the image to an USB so it boots properly. I chose UNetbootin as recommended by the Ubuntu website. Make sure you follow the instructions to the letter, or you could damage your current system.

Before you can perform an install, you must set your system to boot from USB. Each system may be different, I had to hit the F2 function key as soon as the splash screen appeared. This takes you to a configuration menu, which is where you change boot priorities.

One good thing about using an USB drive is that you can test drive a Linux distro before deciding to install. That is what I decided at first, and everything worked great. Windows Vista was shot, so I decided to install Lubuntu. That was when the fun started as I tried about ten times and could never get things to work. Another problem was Ubuntu does not work with Broadcom modems, which the Dell has. I ended up buying a TP-Link TL-WN722N WiFi dongle, which works out the box with Linux.

I finally gave up and tried to find another distro which brings me to…

LXLE

Screenshot of LXLE Desktop
Screenshot of LXLE Desktop

Per the LXLE, “LXLE is a GNU/Linux operating system based on Lubuntu which is an official Ubuntu OS using the LXDE desktop environment.” Unlike my attempt of installing plain Lubuntu, LXLE installed quite easily. That is a photo of the desktop to the left. It has made a dead and almost buried Dell alive again. In fact, this post is being written on it. I’m still learning the ends and outs and will address those in due time.

That is all for now, and I have much, I mean much more to share with you. Can you say “Raspberry PI”?

 

 

Learning Linux: Dell Inspiron 1525

linux logo
Linux Logo

First, it is good to be back. School took up all my time, and as a result my writing was severely hampered. I need the holiday time to recover, but now I am refreshed and ready to start rolling.

I keep saying this blog is about deep thought, and it is, but it also is about science and technology. With that said, this post is the first in what I plan to be an ongoing series. I am learning programming in college, specifically Java, but one thing they do not teach is much of anything about open-source systems, specifically Linux.

If I want to learn Linux, it will be something I will have to do on my own. Plus, I thought it would be great to take you along for the ride. I am starting this adventure cold, so I will not profess to be an expert. You will see everything I learn as I learn it. And, since I am the Musing Cogitator, expect me to go deep.

Dell Inspiron 1525

dell inspiron 1525 back
Dell Inspiron 1525 back

I need a system to use as my learning tool. With Linux, unlike some pay-for-use operating systems, (Windows), all one needs is a low-end device that with just adequate capabilities. I have such a system in a Dell Inspiron 1525 laptop that has been lying around unused for years.

dell inspiron 1525 bottom
Dell Inspiron 1525 bottom

I bought it for my mother eight years ago. My mother is not a technology maven, so it was barely used. It came with Windows Vista, has an Intel Celeron 2.00Ghz processor, 1GB of ram, 80GB hard drive, and DVD/CD drive.

 

Specifications

This is a list of the specifications:

  • Intel Celeron 32-Bit 550@ 2.00GHz microprocessor
  • 1.0GB ram
  • Disk drive: ST980811AS
  • Display adapter: Mobile Intel 965 Express Chipset
  • CD ROM: TSS Corp CDRWDVD TSL462D ATA Device
  • IDE Channel
  • Intel 82801 HEM/HBM SATA AHCI Controller
  • Intel ICH8M Ultra ATA Storage Controller – 2850
  • Ricoh Memory Stick Controller
  • Ricoh SD/MMC Host Controller
  • IEEE 1394 Bus Controller: Ricoh OHCI Compliant IEEE 1394 Host Controller
  • Modem: Conexant HDA D330 MDC V.92 Modem
  • Network adapters: 6T04 Adapter, Dell Wireless 1395 WLAN Mini-Card, Marvell Yukon 88E8040 PCI E-Fast Ethernet Controller
  • SDA Host adapter: SDA Standard Compliant SD Host Controller
  • Sound, video, and game controllers: Intel High Definition Audio HDMI, Sigma Tel High Definition Audio CODEC
  • Storage Controller: Microsoft iSCSI Initiator
  • Hard Drive: 80.0GB
dell inspiron 1525 keyboard
Dell inspiron 1525 keyboard

As stated before, it was hardly used, so my biggest worry is dust, more than the condition of the hardware. It does not come with a webcam, not a bummer as I have yet to ever use one. I do not Skype, which I’m sure breaks Microsoft’s heart.

What’s next

In my next post I will go over exactly what is Linux and why I have chosen to learn it. I will decide on a distribution and attempt an install. If I fail, you will hear about it, and of course you will hear about the successes and what I did to achieve them. I welcome any and all feedback for this series and will try my best to post weekly, school permitting.