Skip to main content

Linux: OpenGEU

Continuing from my post yesterday, Linux: Open Source and my MacBook, I gave OpenGEU 8.10 a shot under VMware Fusion on my MacBook.

OpenGEU is an Ubuntu-based Linux distribution that uses E17 (aka the unstable version of Enlightenment). The project was started and designed by the Italian artist Luca D.M. (aka TheDarkMaster).

In short, it isn't quite as "cohesive" from a feature point of view as stock Ubuntu, but it's stunningly beautiful and performs a lot better. I gave VMware 780MB of RAM, but it's currently using only half that. It also seems to use a lot less CPU. It's actually tolerable under VMware.

Here are some problems I encountered and the solutions I came up with:

Don't use "Linux Easy Install". VMware claims that it can install the ISO automatically since it's based on Ubuntu. However, this just lead to a blank screen for me.

I told the installer to log me in automatically. Why not? I already have to authenticate with my Mac. This makes booting seem a lot faster.

I had to forcibly restart the virtual machine after installation. It just hung. VMware has done this to me before.

VMware-tools installed just fine.

I had some serious dpi problems. This resulted in very large fonts. Thanks to this wonderful page, I was able to fix the problem. I was very happy about that since this problem has always stumped me in the past. I edited /etc/X11/xorg.conf and added the following to the Monitor section, "DisplaySize 338 211 # 1280x800 96dpi".

I couldn't figure out how to move among the different virtual desktops. Alt-shift-(left|right|up|down) does the trick. That's good, because I use Cntl-(left|right|up|down) to move among my different spaces on the Mac. Hence, there's no conflict.

I tried sharing folders between my host and guest operating system. This worked amazingly well. You can enable it on the fly, aka without rebooting. /mnt/hgfs shows up on the guest OS. The only problem is the same problem you typically get with NFS. If your user ID and group ID are different on your host operating system, the files won't match your username and groupname on your guest operating system. It's possible to hack your away around this problem, but it's still a pain.

I told VMware to "pass power status to the virtual machine", but this led to warnings from OpenGEU.

Since OpenGEU doesn't use much from GNOME, it doesn't run startup tasks. Hence, I had to manually run /usr/bin/vmware-user every time I logged in to let VMware do its thing and fix the resolution. To add insult to injury, this causes one of the panels to end up in the middle of the screen. However, you can right-click on the very edge of it and tell it to restart. This fixes the problem.

As beautiful as OpenGEU is, it still made me miss the fonts on my Mac. I guess I'm spoiled. Furthermore, the screen seems "grainy", and the colors aren't quite perfect. I always complain about that in Linux. I have no clue why Linux running with the right resolution on my Mac under VMware looks slightly off, but normal OS X doesn't. Maybe it has to do with finely tuned gamma correction or anti-aliased graphics or something, I don't know. However, it kind of messes with my obsessive compulsive nature.

Anyway, I want to thank all the Python guys for their comments on my blog yesterday. They made me feel a lot better ;)


BhogiToYogi said…
Hey JJ, Every time I try one of these experiments, I feel like I start off with something very square and I am trying to chisel all the sides to make it round and work and go smooth like a wheel. Talk about reinventing the wheel.
jjinux said…
Yep, I know how you feel. Of course, have you ever tried to use wagon wheels on a Ferrari?

Popular posts from this blog

Ubuntu 20.04 on a 2015 15" MacBook Pro

I decided to give Ubuntu 20.04 a try on my 2015 15" MacBook Pro. I didn't actually install it; I just live booted from a USB thumb drive which was enough to try out everything I wanted. In summary, it's not perfect, and issues with my camera would prevent me from switching, but given the right hardware, I think it's a really viable option. The first thing I wanted to try was what would happen if I plugged in a non-HiDPI screen given that my laptop has a HiDPI screen. Without sub-pixel scaling, whatever scale rate I picked for one screen would apply to the other. However, once I turned on sub-pixel scaling, I was able to pick different scale rates for the internal and external displays. That looked ok. I tried plugging in and unplugging multiple times, and it didn't crash. I doubt it'd work with my Thunderbolt display at work, but it worked fine for my HDMI displays at home. I even plugged it into my TV, and it stuck to the 100% scaling I picked for the othe

ERNOS: Erlang Networked Operating System

I've been reading Dreaming in Code lately, and I really like it. If you're not a dreamer, you may safely skip the rest of this post ;) In Chapter 10, "Engineers and Artists", Alan Kay, John Backus, and Jaron Lanier really got me thinking. I've also been thinking a lot about Minix 3 , Erlang , and the original Lisp machine . The ideas are beginning to synthesize into something cohesive--more than just the sum of their parts. Now, I'm sure that many of these ideas have already been envisioned within , LLVM , Microsoft's Singularity project, or in some other place that I haven't managed to discover or fully read, but I'm going to blog them anyway. Rather than wax philosophical, let me just dump out some ideas: Start with Minix 3. It's a new microkernel, and it's meant for real use, unlike the original Minix. "This new OS is extremely small, with the part that runs in kernel mode under 4000 lines of executable code.&quo

Haskell or Erlang?

I've coded in both Erlang and Haskell. Erlang is practical, efficient, and useful. It's got a wonderful niche in the distributed world, and it has some real success stories such as CouchDB and Haskell is elegant and beautiful. It's been successful in various programming language competitions. I have some experience in both, but I'm thinking it's time to really commit to learning one of them on a professional level. They both have good books out now, and it's probably time I read one of those books cover to cover. My question is which? Back in 2000, Perl had established a real niche for systems administration, CGI, and text processing. The syntax wasn't exactly beautiful (unless you're into that sort of thing), but it was popular and mature. Python hadn't really become popular, nor did it really have a strong niche (at least as far as I could see). I went with Python because of its elegance, but since then, I've coded both p