CodyLoco's Random Rants… A little bit of everything…

11Sep/091

OpenOffice screen lag and artifacts on Ubuntu with Compiz and nVidia drivers fix

OpenOffice Writer, Calc, Impress

OpenOffice Writer, Calc, Impress

Since using Ubuntu I obviously no longer use MS Office (although I could, as Office can be emulated in Wine) since OpenOffice can do pretty much everything I need so far.  However, I was having a bit of an annoying problem where the screen seemed to be getting artifacts and text dissapearing and reappearing when scrolling around in Writer (OO's Word) and editing / updating cells in Calc (OO's Excel) was either slow or didn't appear on screen at all.  A quick search on Google came up with this thread on the Ubuntu forums site, pointing to this blog post, in which others have had the problems before, and offered a fix.

The problem is apparently caused by an incompatibility between compiz and the nvidia proprietary drivers, which causes the screen to come out of sync and not get redrawn correctly.  This will obviously only affect people with nVidia-based cards running their drivers.  Luckily, as with most things Linux, there is at least a workaround available, and this one is very easy to fix:

If you don't have it already, install the compizconfig-settings-manager package, which you want to have anyways if you use Compiz desktop effects, either through the package manager or through the terminal:

sudo apt-get install compizconfig-settings-manager

Then open up System -> Preferences -> CompizConfig Settings Manager and navigate to the Utilities section in the screen that pops up.  Click on Workarounds plugin, and enable the “force syncronization between X and GLX” checkbox.  Close the window and your problems will be fixed immediately!

26Aug/090

Ubuntu 9.04: Latest version of Ubuntu better than ever!

Ubuntu: For Desktops, Servers, Netbooks and in the cloudIf you're not yet aware, Ubuntu 9.04 has been out for a while now, and it's better than ever!  I installed it on my Asus G50V, dual-booting between it and Windows Vista Home Premium 64-bit and it's running like a charm (writing this on it right now!).

As usual, you need to install the "extras" that aren't included since they are proprietary, closed source apps, in my case such as the nVidia driver, the Windows corefonts package, and ubuntu-restricted-extras to be able to play mp3s, video codecs like divx, etc.  The nice thing though, is they have been making it easier and easier to get this part up and running with the inclusion of apps such as the hardware drivers box which lets you two-click install the latest video driver (that's way easier than Windows!!!) and tons of walkthroughs and help on the Ubuntu website.  There is now even support for 64-bit Flash and Java plugins!

I also updated Wine (the Windows compatibility layer) to run MS apps, and other than having to install the Windows-propietary fonts, it thus far has run anything I try including what I'm playing now, Eve Online.  I've even installed Serato Scratch Live, which although I haven't tested it with the hardware SL1 since mine is in Costa Rica, the app itself runs as if it doesn't even know it's on Linux (and it's a fairly resource-intensive professional DJ app! - check out my AppDB Entry).  In case you didn't know, if you're thinking of switching to Ubuntu and NEED a Windows App but you there isn't an equivelant in Linux (most have one), check the WineHQ AppDB to see how well it runs under Wine.  You'll be surprised to see how many games run out of the box under Ubuntu/Wine!

My bareyl customized desktop (while editing this post).

My barely customized desktop (while editing this post).

Speaking of games... While Linux can emulate Windows games, Windows can't emulate Linux games or apps.  There are quite a few interesting games and apps available for Linux, and a good place start for games is LinuxGames and for apps is the "cool apps" thread on the Ubuntu forums.

Of course, Ubuntu does have some drawbacks.  Because I'm using the 64-bit version, some drivers I can't get to work, such as the one for my Canon scanner, however most hardware DOES work for the 32-bit Ubuntu.

All in all, other than to run Photoshop, which I haven't tried installing on Wine yet even though it says it can be done, I have had no reason what-so-ever to boot into Windows.  I can access all my files that are in the Windows partitions in Ubuntu (so I can play my music in Amarok, and my movies / videos in VLC, and edit MS Office documents in OpenOffice), play Eve Online, edit my websites and stuff with KFTPGrabber for ftp and Bluefish for PHP/HTML editing, and check my business email through Evolution mail... all just as efficiently as I would with Windows.  Only, with a MUCH stabler, customizable, prettier, and FASTER operating system.

Be sure to check out this video (it's even an OLD version of Ubuntu):

Oh, and by the way, everything about Ubuntu is completely free!  Ubuntu 1, Windows 0.