Installing gOS over Ubuntu

If you want to install the cool gOS look over Ubuntu Linux, do the following.

1. Edit your software repository list to include gOS. Open a terminal window (Applications>Accessories>Terminal), and type sudo gedit /etc/apt/sources.list.

2. Enter the following:
deb http://packages.thinkgos.com/gos/ painful main

3. Save the file.

a. You must also add the key so that aptitude will not warn you that the source is untrusted. At the terminal enter
wget http://www.thinkgos.com/files/gos_repo_key.asc

b. Add the key by entering the following on the terminal
sudo apt-key add gos_repo_key.asc

c. Update aptitude through this command
sudo aptitude update

4. To install gOS via terminal, I suggest using aptitude instead of apt-get. It makes the removal easier (in case you want to revert to plain Ubuntu). Note that you need an Internet connection for this one. Enter the command
sudo aptitude install greenos-desktop

5. After installation, log out. In the login screen, press F10. Click on Select Sessions, then click on Enlightenment. Click Ok.

6. After entering your user name and password, you will be prompted whether to make Enlightenment as the default desktop. If you are just checking, click Just this time.

And you will now see the default green theme.

Enlightenment desktop

To remove gOS, issue this command at the terminal:

sudo aptitude remove enlightenment

Aptitude will automatically remove greenos-desktop package.


Enlightenment DR17 is the environment used by gOS. If you want the latest version installed, add this line to the repository list (follow step one above):

deb http://e17.dunnewind.net/ubuntu gutsy e17

On the terminal, use aptitude to install the latest Enlightenment:

sudo aptitude install enlightenment

Note that DR17 is still under heavy development, and may be buggy. The upside is that you get the latest modules and gadgets (like the mixer and network gadgets).

If you want to try the beta of the new version, named Rocket, add this to the repo list instead of the one stated at step 1:

deb http://packages.thinkgos.com/gos/ reloaded main

Be warned, though. According to a post in Ubuntu Forums, installing Rocket will remove several packages, including network-manager.

(Steps taken from the unofficial gOS Forum.)


Impressions on Enlightenment over Ubuntu

I have been using Ubuntu (technically, more later) for the past month on an MSI VR320 K2 laptop. I have three desktop environments and one window manager installed – Gnome, KDE, Xfce, and Enlightenment (which comes as default desktop for gOS).

I first installed Ubuntu, and I experienced two problems with the default environment – GNOME. One was that nagging ad infinitum drum sounds; I had to mute the sound to get rid of it. One solution offered somewhere was to include the Gutsy backport repository and do an update, but Synaptic and apt-get always report that the repository is empty.

Second, the WiFi. I connected the laptop to a WiFi area secured by WPA. So I entered the passphrase and it connected fine on the first try. I just couldn’t connect again afterwards.

Then I tried installing gOS, which is just basically Ubuntu with another window manager. I liked the UI, but the network manager I did not. So i reverted to Ubuntu.

Enlightenment desktop
Anyway, as stated earlier, I had installed 3 environments and 1 window manager. Currently I am using Enlightenment with the default gOS theme. I was able to recreate the dock, but with several gadgets installed. I have 3 shelves on the desktop. On top contains an iBox (if you minimize a window, its icon is placed in this gadget). At the middle right is the iClock gadget. And the shelf below contains an iBar (gOS’ dock), the Pager (desktop pager), and temperature, battery, and CPU monitors.

This setup works for me, since the desktop is easy to the eyes, looks great, and is not cluttered. And I can play music without the nagging sound that I always get when I use GNOME.

I was also able to install GNOME PPP. This means I can use my 3G phone as modem, which is nice. I don’t have to use Windows just to browse the Web when I’m home. I haven’t tested the WiFi yet, but will do so when I get the chance.

I will post more impressions next time. Suffice to say that I like my Enlightenment setup now.

I will try to use KDE and Xfce in the next weeks, and will post my impressions soon. Will save GNOME for last, as I intend to savor Desktop and Rotate Cube effects. Take that, Windows!

And oh, don’t forget – unless you are very sure, do not press Shift+Backspace.

Shelf – technically, a container where you can place gadgets
Gadget – a piece of software that can convey information (like a battery meter) and contain several icons (iBar and iBox)
Synaptic – the graphical package manager for GNOME
Repository – a central location where you can find packages
Packages – applications that you can install


Shopping for a laptop, 3 (or how getting one can screw you up)

There are several cheap Celeron-powered laptops in the market today. Most of them arrived at the Php 29,999 price point (back in 2007), but now that is about to drop due to the following reasons:

1. Some manufacturers are releasing cheap Pentium Dual Core laptops, like MSI’s VR320 P2, with SRP of Php 29,999 (lower at several shops). It has the following specs:

* Intel® Pentium® Duo Mobile Technology
* Intel Pentium® Dual Core T2130 1.86GHz 533MHz 1MB L2 Cache Processor
* ATI RC410ME Chipset
* ATI Mobility Radeon X200 Graphics 256MB Shared
* MSI Wireless 802.11G
* 1GB DDR2 Memory (Max: 2GB)
* 60GB Hard Disk Drive
* Super-Multi DVD+/-RW/Ram Dual Layer Drive
* Superb Glare 13.3″ Widescreen Display (1280×768)
* Card Reader 4-in-1 MMC/SD/MS/MSPro
* Firewire Port /10/100Lan / 56K Modem
* 3 x USB2.0, Express Card Slot
* Weight : 2.1kg; Battery life: 3Hours (6-Cell)

With cheap Pentium Dual Core laptops in the market, Celeron laptops appear to be on the way out.

2. Intel is releasing dual-core Celerons soon. While the early Celeron Dual Cores will be desktop-based, it is only a matter of time before Celeron Dual Core powered laptops appear in the market.

Stores will now be hardpressed to dispose their Celeron laptop inventories. Expect these to breach the Php 25,000 barrier (unless distributors pull them out).

I suggest you skip Celeron laptops, notwithstanding the cheap price right now. At the same price, get that MSI VR320 P2.

Or maybe not. I got an MSI VR320 K2 laptop last month for Php 39,999 at 12 months, 0% interest installment term. Net Essentials, MSI’s distributor in the Philippines, in its Web site (linked above) listed an MSI VR320 K2 Plus. It shares the same specs as that of K2, but with an upgraded memory (2GB) and a LOWER price, Php 34,999 (though I think the 0% installment is on a 6 months term only). And yes, I AM NOT RECOMMENDING THAT YOU GET AN MSI LAPTOP, not now that they release new models with better specs and lower prices at such (very) short gaps.

That’s the problem with technology. Get one now, and tomorrow it is already obsolete.