Migrate from Windows XP 64bit to Ubuntu Intrepid Ibex 8.10 64bit 3

I’ve been using the newest and the greatest version of Ubuntu (Intrepid 8.10) for almost a month now and I’m happy with it 🙂 Finally I’m using a Linux OS, and not even dual booting.. I’m an RHCT who’s aiming to be an RHCE by this first quarter of 2009.. So why not CentOS 5? Or other Linux distros?

Below are some of my opinions about it:

  • Ubuntu has a vast hardware support which does not need any kernel recompilation, building package from scratch, or any hardcore geek tweaks that you have to do in order to be happy with your machine. One example, if you’re in a meeting and you ask your co-worker, “that’s cool, can you project that slide for us?”.. he replies..”I can’t I’m running on CentOS 5, I haven’t worked on the module yet”.. Another is when you’re on a client and the only way to connect to their network is through Wireless and because your Wireless card is not supported you can’t get your job done..ouch!
  • I just want a user-friendly Linux desktop environment (not the server type) which will allow me to do similar things that I do on a Windows environment, also it must be backed by a very dynamic user community.. that makes the distribution keeps on evolving, and makes it very cool and exciting..
  • I have a 120GB external drive that has NTFS partitions, If I were to migrate to CentOS I would be needing NTFS-3g (NTFS driver) in order to use my external drive in read-write mode, apparently it’s not native on the CentOS distribution and there are just too many steps in order to make it work which is same case with the wireless card issue. When you install Ubuntu, you could just plug your external drive and immediately use it
  • Lastly, I also want to learn and be familiar with a Debian based distro..and I kinda like the Synaptic Package Manager, very easy to use with tons of packages available.. but Yum is still cool and powerful..

This is my laptop specs (NEO Elan L2110):

Technology Intel® Centrino® processor technology

Processor Intel® CoreTM2 Duo Processor T8100

Processor details 3 MB L2 cache, 2.10 Ghz, 800 Mhz FSB

Chipset Intel® GM965 + ICH8-M

Memory 4 GB DDR2

Graphics Intel® Graphics Media Accelerator X3100

Display 13.3″ WXGA LCD

Speakers 2 x High Fidelity Internal Speakers (1.5W)

Hard Disk Drive 160 GB SATA

Optical Disc Drive DVDRW SuperMulti Slot-in Type

Networking 10/100/1000 Mbps LAN

Wireless Intel® Wireless WiFi Link 4965AGN

Card Reader 4-in-1 Card Reader

Webcam 1.3 MegaPixels

Connectivity IEEE 1394, Bluetooth®

Battery 6-cell Lithium-ion Battery

Weight ~ 2.1 k

And here’s the step by step on how I did my migration:

On Windows:

1) Backup Calendar and Email (Thunderbird)

2) Backup all the files

3) Have an inventory of all the softwares installed

4) Backup bookmarks on Firefox

On Ubuntu:

5) Installation

  • Used the “alternate CD” then custom partition using LVM (if you are not using the “alternate CD” you can’t do LVM upon install), LVM is very flexible.. if ever I ran out of space on a certain file system I could just execute lvextend and resize2fs.. So I allotted the following:

120MB – BOOT,


1.5GB – ROOT,

138GB – HOME,

1GB – TMP,

4GB – USR,


  • For the keyboard layout I chose “USA” because I’m having problems with special characters when I chose the “USA International”
  • If you encounter the error “ESCOM” when you are hitting ENTER key when searching for a word on a man page, it is a keyboard bug.. just hit CTRL+M or CTRL+J for the workaround (https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/xkeyboard-config/+bug/40905)
  • I used the 64bit Desktop Kernel of Ubuntu (although I can install the 64bit Server Kernel), why? Because I’m just running on a laptop, and I only have one SATA disk. If I install the server kernel it will have little or no difference on the performance. See the link (http://www.serverwatch.com/tutorials/article.php/3715071) for discussions on I/O scheduler, pre-emption, memory, ticks and HZ

6) After the installation, I just want to try if my VMs will run without problems on Ubuntu, my productivity depends on my VMs.. without them I can’t do all of my test cases for my clients, just follow the bullets below

7) Update Ubuntu (kernel and all packages)

  • Update your OS using the Synaptic Package Manager

8 ) Re-run the perl script vmware setup

  • Updating your OS will also update the kernel, VMware is kernel dependent so you have to rerun the “runme.pl” to recompile it to the new kernel

9) Install other softwares/packages

Thunderbird and Lightning (for Email and Calendar)

Filezilla (for easy file transfer)

CHM viewer (for viewing my CHM ebooks)

Kate (a powerful text editor with block selection, gedit has a column mode selection plugin but doesn’t really work)

CrossOver (for using Windows Office 2k3, Visio, Project on a Linux environment.. I don’t have to worry about my Windows documents, got it free at http://www.codeweavers.com)

K3B (a powerful burning tool)

VLC player and other codecs

VNC viewer and server

cups-pdf (a PDF printer, solution to make it work: create PDF directory on the home directory, http://linux.derkeiler.com/Mailing-Lists/Ubuntu/2008-11/msg00745.html)

Brasero (for creating ISO images, http://andieko.info/lang/en/how-to-create-iso-files-in-ubuntu/)

KSnapshot (replacement for SnagIt, allows region selection)

sysstat (system performance tools for linux) and ksh (korn shell).. I’ll be needing these to run OS watcher (by Oracle Support) on my machine..

smbclient, samba-common, samba, libpam-smbpass (so you could share directories)

sysv-rc-conf (SysV init runlevel config tool for the terminal, so you could have a “chkconfig” just like in RedHat)

gpaint just like the paint program on Windows

gwget a download manager which is a front-end for wget

10) Lastly, customize your desktop.. 🙂

This is the screenshot of my Desktop Environment..

You can see that I’m using my NTFS external drive and the following VMs:

  • 2 node 10gR2 RAC on OEL4.4 x86 with OCFS2 and ASMlib
  • 10gR2 on OEL4.5 x86 with ASM raw devices
  • 10gR2 Data Guard on OEL 4.7 x86-64 both on ASMlib
  • Enterprise Manager Grid Control on OEL 4.4 x86
  • 10gR2 and 11g Database Vault and 10gR2 Audit Vault on OEL 4.4 x86

Screenshot Ubuntu Desktop Environment



  1. Pingback: After OOW, my laptop broke down – data rescue scenario « Karl Arao's Blog

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