Friday, October 29, 2010

Another Smooth Ubuntu Upgrade

Just upgraded my desktop Maverick Meerkat 10.10 which is a tad more complicated than my laptop because it runs apache2 to serve web pages (including 2 trac instances) and weewx to log weather information from my weather station. Thankfully, the upgrade went smoothly. When prompted for what to do with my existing apache2 config, I made a backup copy, then asked to have it overwritten. When the upgrade was complete, I uncommented the server root and copied over the trac configuration sections. After restart, everything worked as before.

The only two minor hiccups were the font (didn't look as good on the desktop as it did on the laptop) and the version of Chrome. It downgraded my chrome from 7 to 6. 'course, both of those (extremely minor) issues were easy to fix.

Update (10/30/10): I realized the difference in fonts. It was technically the same font (Ubuntu), but different rendering. It chose "Best shapes" on my desktop which resulted in a very skinny font. Whereas on my laptop, it chose "Subpixel smoothing". The subpixel smoothing resulted in a much thicker font. So much so that it looked like a different font!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Ubuntu Window Border Thickness

When I use Ubuntu on a high-resolution monitor or on a laptop (which is appx. 100% of the time), I have difficulty clicking the border of a window to resize. Apparently, I'm not alone and this has been a standing issue for years. It seems to me that it would be trivial for them to add a configuration option under "Appearance Preferences"/"Theme"/"Customize..."/"Window Border" for frame/border thickness. But, it doesn't exist yet. However, if you don't mind editing XML, the above bug describes how to make the necessary change (at least for the default, Human, theme; it looks like changing other themes would be similar). Here's the process:

  • Edit the XML config: sudo emacs /usr/share/themes/Human/metacity-1/metacity-theme-1.xml
  • Increase the values for left_width, right_width and bottom_height.
  • Restart the window manager (e.g. by logging out and back in)
I increased the values from "3" to "5".

Update (10/26/10): You'll also want to increase left_titlebar_edge and right_titlebar_edge to the same value. Also, AFAICT it's not possible to change the top/titlebar border. This is a bit of a pain since I frequently try to grab the top border for resizing.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Upgrading Ubuntu

Just upgraded my laptop from Lucid Lynx 10.04 to Maverick 10.10. It was (happily) largely uneventful. One thing that I had to figure out was that Upgrade Manager had been configured to only show long term support (LTS) releases, meaning it wouldn't pop-up the helpful "Upgrade" button. Once I changed "show new distribution releases" to "Normal", it showed the "Upgrade" button and the upgrade proceeded.

One touch I like in the new release is the use of round-er sans-serif fonts everywhere. Feels a bit more inviting than before. Python is 2.6.6 by default with 2.7 and 3.1 available. Unison has been upgraded to 2.32.52 which means that I'll need to upgrade my desktop before I can synchronize again.