New Laptop 2013

So a laptop died last year and we’ve been one short at our house.  After spending the last week looking/searching for the best deal out there for a maxed out laptop,  it has come to my attention that I’ll probably end up with a pc with Windows 8 on it.  I am not excited.  I’ll definitely boot it up and check out the hoopla coming from the MS fanboys, but if all I’ve read is true, it’ll be wiped before the day is through!

Most of my looking has been done, in the hopes that once purchased, I’ll have a Linux laptop to last at least a couple of years!  Currently, I’m using a Dell XPS 15z, and I’ve been quite happy with my Linux experience on a laptop!  This in spite of the fact that when purchased, I was naive enough to have bought a laptop with the Optimus graphics technology.  A mistake I wont make again.  It was difficult surmounting the Optimus hurdle with Linux.  But, not impossible.  After a rather steep learning curve discovering the ins and outs of graphics, and how they work with the Linux Kernel, I now know to be sure to purchase a system with dedicated graphics.

Once the new one is here, I’ll be sure to post about it…   One prediction I can easily make;  VSIDO will be the distro of choice, whatever laptop it is! read more

Editing Grub with various boot options

Having problems getting Linux to boot properly if at all?  Problems after installing and getting just a black screen with a blinking cursor in the top left, or no cursor at all, and can’t jump out to a tty1 using Ctrl-Alt-F1?  The following may get you on your way to a successful Linux install and happier Linux experience!

The newest kernels have moved the video mode settings into the kernel. So all the programming of the hardware specific clock rates and registers on the video card happen in the kernel rather than in the X driver when the X server starts. This makes it possible to have high resolution, nice looking splash (boot) screens, and flicker free transitions from boot splash to login screen. Unfortunately, on some cards this doesn’t work properly, and you end up with a black screen. Adding the nomodeset parameter instructs the kernel to not load video drivers and use BIOS modes instead until X is loaded.

To do this, you’ll need to hit the letter ‘e’ when you get to the “Grub menu” during boot. Hitting the letter ‘e’ will allow you to edit the grub cmd line options before booting the OS. After hitting the letter ‘e’ you’ll see something like the following;

set root='hd0,msdos1'
if [ x$feature_platform_search_hint = xy ]; then
search --no-floppy --fs-uuid --set=root --hint-bios=hd0,msdos1 read more