Funky things to do with Ubuntu

I’ve recently developed an urge to repeatedly break the operating system on my home PC. It’s not that I want to break it, it’s just that my incessant tinkering usually results in me having to either reinstall my graphics card driver or carry out some serious back-peddling to undo my disastrous attempts at “improving” my desktop.

I use Ubuntu Feisty as my operating system of choice. This means that I can do all sorts of horrible things to the source code of my box without really having to know what I’m doing. Over the last few years as a Linux user I’ve learned a dangerous amount of information about Linux – just enough to make me interested in tinkering with it but not really enough to get me out of the mess I inevitably make.

I’d managed to get a rather lovely set of desktop eye candy going in Ubuntu in the previous version – Edgy Eft. Beryl provided me with some great-looking tools and was actually a very useful package. I wanted this to work again when I upgraded Ubuntu to Feisty Fox.

The upgrade killed Beryl but as Feisty included Compiz (Beryl had forked from Compiz and re-merged since) within it’s build I figured I’d give that a go instead. Unfortunately, I’ve since been unable to correctly install Compiz, or rather Compiz-fusion, it’s more advanced cousin.

There are a number of reasons for this, but ultimately it boils down to one thing – my previous tinkering. I’ve installed some kernel headers that are interfering with all my attempts to install a more up-to-date nVidia driver. Whenever I change from the old legacy version I’ve installed it crashes X and I have to reinstall the old version again. I’ve been struggling for a few days with this and I’ve only got myself to blame!

So, when I get home from work this afternoon I’m going to strip out as much unwanted and unneeded software as I can so that I can get this new nVidia driver installed. I really, really want to get Compiz-fusion installed because I want to be able to create some lovely transparent terminals on my desktop.

I’ll probably break it even more in the process and as my DVD drive is bust (replacement in the post) I can’t even reinstall from scratch at the moment.

Here goes nothing…

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