Switch to Xubuntu

  • 18 October 2017
  • charm
Xubuntu installation on my desktop PC showing partitions

For many years I ran Linux exclusively on all my systems. When Windows 8.1 came out I decided to buy a copy and try it out in a dual-boot configuration on my desktop PC. I've now done a 360 degree turn and gone back to running Linux exclusively on my desktop PC.

Part of the reason I purchased Windows 8.1 (and later upgraded to Windows 10) was the fact that it was new at the time, and as a refurbisher selling Windows (and Linux systems) I figured I needed to get to know it a little better. This really isn't the case anymore. I use Windows 10 at work every day (though my main desktop runs Xubuntu 16.04), I don't really need to use it at home, and if there's really a need for me to use Windows we have other computers that run Windows.

Before I go into details of the install, here's the hardware list in my main desktop:

  • AMD A8-5600K APU (4 cores running at 3.6GHz)
  • Gigabyte F2A85XM-D3H motherboard (FM2)
  • 16GB DDR3 GSkill.Ripjaws 1800MHz RAM
  • 120GB Samsung SSD 750
  • 1TB Western Digital WD10EZEX-00W Hard Drive
  • Zotac GeForce GTX 650 Ti Boost (2048MB) video card

Originally Windows 10 resided on the entire of the SSD and half of the 1TB drive. Linux Mint took up the other 500GB of the partitioned 1TB drive.

I keep a 64GB Sandisk Cruzer flash drive full of Linux install images I created on a Windows machine at work using YUMI. YUMI is an awesome program for creating multi-use USB keys. My key has over 15 Linux images including Ubuntu, Xubuntu, Kubuntu, Linux Mint (multiple flavours), Fedora, OpenSUSE, and so on.

When I went to wipe the drives I noticed something interesting about the drive setup: my SSD was showing up as the second drive (/dev/sda). I thought I had the SSD in the first SATA port, but when I rebooted and checked the BIOS this wasn't the case. You might not think this was a problem, after all I had Windows 10 + Linux Mint (Cinnamon) in a dual-boot setup across the two drives before. But the order was a problem. I had planned on installing Xubuntu initially, but Xubuntu refused to see either drive, it only saw the Cruiser flash drive. Changing the drive setup solved the problem.

Making out the order on the motherboard was made more difficult by the fact that the room I was in doesn't have great lighting and it was at night, but I eventually notice that I'd actually reversed the order: there was no drive in SATA 0, SATA 1 was connected to the Blu-ray drive, SATA 2 to the 1TB drive and SATA 3 to the SSD. I changed the setup so the SSD was first, the hard drive second and the Blu-ray third.

On reboot I noticed the live Xubuntu image on the Cruzer USB key wasn't confused at all. For most of the installation I chose default options except when it came to partitioning:

  • /dev/sda1 - 200MB - /boot - ext4 - SSD
  • /dev/sda5 - 118GB - / - ext4 - SSD
  • /dev/sdb1 - 984GB - /home - xfs - Hard Drive

The total installation was around 10 minutes and completed without issue.

On reboot I ran updates:

sudo apt update
sudo apt upgrade

This is the point I've left the system at this evening. At the moment I'm still using the Nouveau video driver, though I'll probably change this in the next couple of days. Tomorrow is a long day at work so I probably won't have updated news tomorrow.

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