How To Install Ubuntu 12.10 On Non-PAE CPU

Ubuntu 12.10 and 12.04 use the PAE Linux Kernel by default for 32bit ISOs and while you could use the mini ISO to install Ubuntu 12.04 on computers that don’t support PAE, that’s not possible in Ubuntu 12.10.
Further more, with 12.10, Xubuntu and Lubuntu no longer come with a non-PAE Linux Kernel, so by default, you can’t install any Ubuntu 12.10 flavour on computers using CPUs that lack PAE support (such as Intel Pentium M).

ubuntu 12.10 non-pae
Below you’ll find instructions on how to install Ubuntu 12.10 Quantal Quetzal on computers that don’t support PAE. The instructions have been tested on the default Ubuntu 12.10 ISO (with Unity), but they should work with any Ubuntu flavour like Lubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu and so on and probably Linux Mint 14 as well.

Using the resulting bootable Ubuntu 12.10 USB stick, it should also be possible to upgrade from Ubuntu 12.04 to 12.10, but I’ve only tested it on a clean installation.
Physical Address Extension (PAE) is a feature to allow (32-bit) x86 processors to access a physical address space (including random access memory and memory mapped devices) larger than 4 gigabytes.

Install Ubuntu 12.10 Quantal Quetzal on computers that don’t support PAE
1. Download the required files (includes non-PAE Linux Kernel 3.5.0 deb files).
You can grab all the required files as once, using BZR:
sudo apt-get install bzr
bzr branch lp:~webtom/+junk/linux-image-i386-non-pae
Or, you can download each file manually from HERE (click the green download image on the right).

2. Create a bootable USB stick with the Ubuntu 12.10 32bit ISO and once the stick is ready, open it in your file manager (.e.g. Nautilus) and replace the following files from the USB stick with the files downloaded under step 1:rename the downloaded “vmlinuz-3.5.0-17-wt-non-pae_3.5.0-17.28_i386” file to “vmlinuz” and copy it to the USB stick, under the “casper” folder, replacing the already existing “vmlinuz” file.rename the downloaded “initrd-3.5.0-17-wt-non-pae_3.5.0-17.28_i386.lz” file to “initrd.lz” and copy it to the USB stick, under the “casper” folder, replacing the already existing “initrd.lz” file
3. Copy the following downloaded files to the USB stick (don’t place them in any sub directory):linux-headers-3.5.0-17-wt-non-pae_3.5.0-17.28_i386.deblinux-image-3.5.0-17-wt-non-pae_3.5.0-17.28_i386.deb
Note that these are the 3.5.0-17 Linux headers and image, not 3.5.0-18!

4. Now you can use the USB stick to install Ubuntu 12.10 on the non-PAE capable computer. Once the installation completes, DO NOT REBOOT the computer, press CTRL + ALT + F1 and in the tty, type the following commands to install the non-PAE kernel you’ve copied to the USB stick under step 3:cd /cdrom
sudo dpkg –root=/target -i *.deb
Some warnings will be displayed when running the above command:

ubuntu 12.10 non-pae
ignore these warnings and once the installation completes, reboot the system (you can press CTRL + ALT + F7 to switch back to the installation and reboot from there or type “sudo reboot”).
5. Your computer should now boot the newly installed Ubuntu 12.10 Quantal Quetzal flavour. From the files downloaded under step 1 (or, if you don’t have access to them any more, redownload just the ones below), copy the following files to some folder that doesn’t have any other deb files, e.g. your home directory:linux-image-3.5.0-18-wt-non-pae_3.5.0-18.29_i386.deblinux-headers-3.5.0-18-wt-non-pae_3.5.0-18.29_i386.deb
This is the latest Linux Kernel version available in the Ubuntu 12.10 repositories (3.5.0-18 and not 3.5.0-17 which we’ve used under steps 3-4).

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How To Use Multiple Monitors In Xubuntu / Xfce (Extended Display Instead Of Mirror)

xubuntu dual screenIn multi monitors setups, Xubuntu / Xfce clones (mirrors) instead of expanding the display to the external monitor. So here are two ways of getting proper multi monitor support in Xfce / Xubuntu.

I. Xubuntu 12.10 or 12.04 only: use the Xfce 4.12 PPA to get proper multi-monitor support
Xfce 4.11 (Xubuntu 12.10 uses Xfce 4.10 by default) has implemented support for extended desktop mode, so using the Xfce 4.12 PPA in Xubuntu 12.10 or 12.04 (this is a development PPA which provides some development packages), which you might have added already to install Thunar 1.5.x with tabs support, you’ll get proper multi-monitor support by default.

Using this PPA, in the Xfce Settings Manager, under “Display”, you can select the position of each monitor (left of, right of, below, above or the same), and if you want to mirror the displays or not:
Xubuntu multi monitor display settings
The PPA currently provides Thunar 1.5.x, Xfce4 Settings and Axo development builds. To add the PPA and upgrade these packages in Xubuntu 12.10 or 12.04, use the commands below:sudo add-apt-repository ppa:xubuntu-dev/xfce-4.12
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade
Once the packages have been successfully upgraded, open the Settins Manager, and under “Display”, uncheck the “Mirror displays” option to extend your display to the external monitor(s), then select the displays position, etc.

There’s also a minimal display dialog (thanks to Simon Steinbeiss for the tip!) you can use once you’ve added the above PPA, in case you need to quickly change monitor settings, which you can run using the following command (you can create a shortcut for it if you often change your monitor layout, .e.g. when using a laptop with external monitors):xfce4-display-settings -m
Here’s what you’ll get:

Xfce mini display settings

II. Any Xubuntu / Xfce version: Use Arandr to extend the display instead of cloning (mirror) it
1. Install Arandr, a simple GUI for XRandR:
sudo apt-get install arandr

2. Then, open Arandr and move the monitors to the desired position using drag and drop:

By default, the monitors might be displayed one above the other, so drag the first one to be able to see both of them.

When you’re done, select Layout > Apply.

3. The changes are not saved and will be lost once you logout / restart the computer so to make them permanent, from the Arandr menu select Layout > Save As, enter a name for this layout and save it.
This creates a script under ~/.screenlayout using the name you’ve used above (unless you’ve selected a different path).

4. Add this script to your startup items: Session and Startup > Applications Autostart – click “Add”, under “Name” enter whatever you want and under “Command”, enter the exact path to the script created under step 3 and you’re done:

Your Xubuntu computer’s display should now be extended to the external monitor(s), instead of using the default clone (mirror) option, each time you log in.

Originally published at WebUpd8: Daily Ubuntu / Linux news and application reviews.

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Install Thunar 1.5.1 With Tabs Support In Xubuntu 12.10 Or 12.04 [Xfce]

Thunar, the default Xfce file manager, has reached version 1.5.1, getting a much-requested feature: tabs.
thunar 1.5.1 tabs
For now, using middle click to open a folder in a new tab doesn’t work so you must right click a folder and select

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How To Set Up Compiz In Xubuntu 12.10 Or 12.04

xubuntu compizThis article shows how to set up Compiz in Xubuntu (w/ Xfce) 12.10 or 12.04. I’ve tested the instructions below on Xubuntu 12.10, but they should work on Xubuntu 12.04 as well – there are some minor differences which I’ve explained below.
Before proceeding, please note that to be able to use Compiz, you’ll obviously need a 3D capable graphics card and drivers.
Let’s get started!

How to use Compiz in Xubuntu (w/ Xfce) 12.10 or 12.04
1. Install Compiz, the main Compiz plugins and CompizConfig Settings Manager:sudo apt-get install compiz compiz-plugins compizconfig-settings-manager
2. You’ll also need a tool to change the window titlebar theme (since Metacity will be used). To keep things light and without the need to add any PPAs, we’ll use dconf-editor / gconf-editor in the steps below.
For Ubuntu 12.10, install dconf-tools:
sudo apt-get install dconf-tools
xubuntu compiz
Then press ALT + F2 and run: “dconf-editor”, navigate to org > gnome > desktop > vm > preferences and change the “theme” value from “Adwaita” to “Greybird”. Remember this because in the same place you can also change the window button layout, among others.
For Ubuntu 12.04, install gconf-editor:
sudo apt-get install gconf-editor
xubuntu compiz
Then press ALT + F2 and run: “gconf-editor”, navigate to apps > metacity > general and set the “theme” value to “Greybird” (assuming that Graybird theme is installed – and it should since it’s the default theme).
Whenever you want to change the Xubuntu window theme, you’ll have to use dconf-editor / gconf-editor like explained above.

3. Some Compiz plugins MUST be enabled before running Compiz:
Open CompizConfig Settings Manager via Xubuntu’s Settings Manager and activate the following plugins (without these plugins enabled, Compiz won’t work properly): Composite, Gnome Compatibility, OpenGL, Window Decoration, Move Window, Resize Window, Place Windows.
xubuntu compiz
I also suggest enabling these plugins: Expo, Desktop Wall (or Cube), Application Switcher (or Static Application Switcher / Ring Swithcher), Grid and of course, enable any other plugins you like (don’t enable the Unity plugin though!).

You can enable/disable more plugins later on, but the important part is to enable the plugins required for Compiz to work properly, which I’ve mentioned above, before running Compiz for the first time.

4. Let’s start Compiz using the following command:
compiz –replace

5. Add Compiz to Xubuntu startup applications:

At this point, Compiz is up and running but it won’t be used after a system restart. So if you’re satisfied with it, add it start when you login to your Xubuntu session.

To do this, run the following commands:
cp /etc/xdg/xfce4/xfconf/xfce-perchannel-xml/xfce4-session.xml ~/.config/xfce4/xfconf/xfce-perchannel-xml/xfce4-session.xml
leafpad ~/.config/xfce4/xfconf/xfce-perchannel-xml/xfce4-session.xml
In the newly opened file in Leafpad, look for the following bolded line (should be on line 14 in Xubuntu 12.10): and replace “xfwm4” with “compiz”. Then log out, log back in and that’s it.

If later on you want to go back to using xfwm4 instead of compiz, open the same file again:
leafpad ~/.config/xfce4/xfconf/xfce-perchannel-xml/xfce4-session.xmlAnd replace “compiz” with “xfwm4”, just like above.

Another way to do this is to (this is not the 100% proper way to do it, but I’ve added it in case the above method doesn’t work for you): open Settings Manager > Session and Startup and on the Application Autostart tab, click “Add”, under “Name” enter “Compiz” and under “Command”, enter “compiz –replace” (both without quotes). You can leave the description field empty.
xubuntu compiz
If later on you don’t want to use Compiz any more, simply remove Compiz from Settings Manager > Session and Startup > Applications Autostart tab, then log out and log back in.

Originally published at WebUpd8: Daily Ubuntu / Linux news and application reviews.

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Xfce: Sync To VBlank Support For The Xfwm Compositor [PPA For Ubuntu 12.10]

If you’re experiencing screen tearing in Xfce 4.10, you’ll be glad to know there’s a patch that fixes this, which you can install right away.
The patch adds Sync to VBlank support to the Xfwm compositor and while it’s not perfect, it should fix most of the tearing on computers using Intel GPUs (might work with AMD as well). Here are the pros and cons of using this patch, according to the bug report where the patch was submitted:
No tearing when dragging windowsNo tearing when resizing windowsNo tearing when using the flash plugin in firefoxNo tearing in windowed OpenGL applicationsUses less resources since the fps is limited to the display refresh rate
Tested only using Intel gpu, but might also work with AMD. It doesn’t work with NvidiaBlocks xfwm’s main loop while waiting on the vertical blankTearing still happens about 10 pixels below the top of the display but since this space is usually only occupied by the title bar, it’s only visible when dragging a window across the drop of the screen

There’s also a small bug and enabling sync to vblank from the GUI doesn’t work, but this can easily be done with a single command.
I don’t experience any screen tearing in Xfce so I couldn’t properly test this, but the patch has been tested by WebUpd8 reader Johann Todorovic on a Dell Inspiron Laptop with Intel i5-2410M CPU and 4 GB of RAM running Ubuntu 12.10, and he confirms that it works, just as described in the bug report (see info above):
With the default Xfwm4 and the compositor on, I play 3 videos (avi and mp4) in Parole. All of them with permanent horizontal screen tearing. The same issue with flash videos in Youtube. With the default Xfwm4 and the compositor off, the tearing is even worse.

Then, i download and install your Xfwm4 patched deb. And enable the Vsync […].

After restarting the wm, with the compositor “on”, I performed the test with the same videos, and the reproduction is practically perfect! Tearing of video and flash reproduction, in full screen is almost imperceptible, and limited to the top of the screen “about 10 pixels below the top of the display”.

[…] I’m very glad with the results, the patch works and it’s a good improvement!

Install Xfwm4 with patch for compositor Vsync support
To install Xfwm4 with the patch for vsync support in Ubuntu 12.10, use the following commands:sudo add-apt-repository ppa:webupd8team/experiments
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade
If you’re using Ubuntu 12.04 with Xfce 4.10 or some other Debian-based Linux distribution, you can download the debs below (not tested):32bit64bit
Once installed, log out, then log back in and enable sync to vblank using the following command (remember, setting this from the UI doesn’t work):xfconf-query -c xfwm4 -p “/general/sync_to_vblank” -s true
For other Linux distributions, you can get the patch via Xfce Bugzilla.

Thanks to Johann Todorovic for the tip!

Originally published at WebUpd8: Daily Ubuntu / Linux news and application reviews.

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    Xubuntu 12.10 Released With Xfce 4.10 [Screenshots, Video]

    xubuntu 12.10Xubuntu, the Xfce Ubuntu flavor, has been released today along with the other Ubuntu flavours. It’s a great alternative for those who do not want to use GNOME Shell or Unity and prefer a more traditional layout.
    The latest Xubuntu 12.10 brings updated artwork and default applications and the latest Xfce 4.10.

    Here’s a video I’ve recorded, presenting the changes in Xubuntu 12.10:

    (direct video link)

    Xfce 4.10 by default
    Xfce 4.10, which is used in Xubuntu 12.10, brings many improvements, including:
    – re-written application finder which combines the functionality of the old appfinder and xfrun4:
    xubuntu 12.10
    – a new vertical display mode for the panel, called “deskbar” which switches the applets orientation to horizontal, making the panel behave like a vertical ‘dock’:
    xubuntu 12.10
    – multiple rows support for the panel:

    xubuntu 12.10

    Other Xfce changes include:
    the window manager supports tiling windows when dragging them to the screen edgesthumbnail rendering support for Xfdesktopthe mouse and touchpad dialog is capable of handling basic Synaptics and Wacom properties in the GUI

    Xubuntu 12.10 artwork
    The artwork has received special attention in Xubuntu 12.10. For instance, Greybird, the default Xubuntu 12.10 theme, has got a complete makeover, with re-written GTK3 support:
    xubuntu 12.10

    There’s also a new default wallpaper, updated login screen and Ubiquity slideshow:
    xubuntu 12.10
    xubuntu 12.10

    Default applications
    xubuntu 12.10
    To make Xubuntu 12.10 fit on a CD (unlike Ubuntu), quite a few default applications were removed. In Xubuntu 12.10, you’ll no longer find Synaptic Package Manager, GIMP or Startup Disk Creator installed by default. There are also less games: only Mines and Sudoku are available on the CD.

    Ubuntu Software Center in Xubuntu 12.10The default application selection in Xubuntu 12.10 includes: Firefox 16.0.1, Thunderbird 16.0.1, gMusicBrowser 1.1.9, Parole, Thunar 1.4.0, gThumb 3.0.2, Pidgin 2.10.6, Transmission 2.61, Abiword 2.9.2+svn, Catfish search tool, XChat 2.8.8 along with Ubuntu Software Center, on top of Xfce 4.10.

    Other changes
    It’s also worth mentioning that the offline documentation has been completely rewritten for Xubuntu 12.10.
    Unfortunately, the messaging indicator isn’t available for Ubuntu 12.10. Also, just like for Ubuntu, there isn’t an alternate ISO anymore.

    Download Xubuntu 12.10
    Download Xubuntu 12.10 from and check out the official release notes!

    Originally published at WebUpd8: Daily Ubuntu / Linux news and application reviews.

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