My Desktop is a little “Freer”

But really, what does that get me?

It was with a bit of a smirk that I read about Ubuntu user’s pains in upgrading to Karmic, the latest release. Ubuntu’s previous release upgrade or two had killed my networking, to the point that I had to reinstall the whole OS and I instead switched to Arch Linux. Arch has a rollng release cycle, which means you can get the latest and greatest much quicker than a lot of other Linux distributions, and it tries to “Keep it Simple”

This doesn’t mean its easy to install or configure, just that its straightforward to install and configure pieces to really tailor it to your own preferences.

This also does not mean you are not immune to upgrade headaches, as I found out this weekend. The latest version of X-Server 1.7, does not play well with the latest binary NVidia video card drivers. To the point that X will not load and you’re left at an old school command line terminal. The solution is to switch to the Open Source nouveau drivers for nvidia cards, which don’t have the same incompatibility. I had to also edit my xorg.conf file to get my dual-monitor setup working correctly, which was easy once google found me a working configuration to crib.

An hour later, I have a usable Linux machine again, but honestly, weren’t we supposed to be past this by now? Whatever KDE+Xorg configuration I have does not have the right juju to configure this via KDE’s gui apps for my desktop or screen resolution. According to KDE I do not appear to have a multi monitor setup, but other tools do show the two monitors available. Its just that they don’t all talk to each other as expected or needed in all cases. Too many things have to align for configuration/hardware stuff like this to be painless, so Linux will continue to be challenging to run.