Ubuntu 7.04 installation/configuration on AMD64

If wasn’t for the online documentation and forums, I would not have complete my installation/configuration as successfully as I did. As a token of appreciation, I am sharing some pointers and notes on my experience. Hope this will be helpful to you too.

Over the weekend, I did a fresh install of Ubuntu 7.04 (Feisty Fawn) Server on AMD64. Why server? I thought that I wanted to take advantage of the “support for hardware facilities that speed up the use of virtual machines“. So I inserted the CD and started the installation. The installation was fairly smooth and fast. I had to spend a bit of time to get used to the new disk partitioning menu interface and re-partition a few times before I get the software RAID configuration I liked. The installer offered the option for the user to select if she/he wants to install LAMP and other server components, which is what was expected out of a server edition of the OS.

What I didn’t realize was that folks at Ubuntu.org was really serious about building a server distribution that only installs what it needs to run as a server, which was the right thing to do. When I rebooted my machine to load the OS, I only saw a text console, no desktop environment was installed. So, I said to my self, “Great, now I’ll have to install that myself!?” This was actually no big deal for me because I am comfortable enough to do that manually with the help from other online HOWTO documentations. This actually reminded me of days when I was installing Gentoo from source. That was a long but rewarding process. I figured out what package I needed or wanted from various guides (for example, this one) and build a list of packages to tell the package management system (apt-get for Ubuntu) to batch install them while I take a break doing something else.

Configure the system after installed the packages became a bit more challenging. For example, GNOME Display Manager (GDM) would complain that Human theme not found. So, I tweaked /etc/X11/xorg.conf to load another theme that I installed already. Next, X would not load because Nvidia driver installation binary added references to font files that didn’t exist and attempted to load a tablet input device driver (wacom). I commented out these references and that did the trick for me.

The next challenge I had was trying to enable Smart Common Input Method (SCIM) to load in GNOME. The first HOWTO didn’t work for me. Fortunately, the second HOWTO got SCIM to load correctly. I also was able to configure 32-bit Flash Player 9 with 64-bit Firefox/Mozilla. I wished the same library wrapping technique would work for Java plug-in. I even tried to run 32-bit Mozilla. Before I get to try the 32-bit plugin, Firefox complained that it can’t find 32-bit SCIM. Until the JVM team/Java community create a 64-bit version of the plug-in, I guess am out of luck and will have to do run 32-bit Mozilla in a VM image to work around the issue. Even VMWare Server 1.02 can’t install without issues. Fortunately, this HOWTO save me for the day.

All-in-all I am happy with my setup for now. Drivers works beautifully. I wish the missing 64-bit software support (Flash Plug-in, Java Plug-in, etc.) and WMA codec support would be less painful or unfriendly on AMD64. If I had known better, I would install the desktop edition rather than server edition for my use. It should be much easier to install sever kernel or VM optimized kernel than setup a desktop environment. I’ve learned my lesson. šŸ˜‰

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3 thoughts on “Ubuntu 7.04 installation/configuration on AMD64

  1. Installed ubuntu 7.04 server amd64, without Lamp or DNS.
    afterwards, removed cdrom access in apt.conf repository, started Ā“sudo aptitudeĀ“ and went to tasks, selected gnome desktopĀ“ after some downloads it worked out of the box, but I canĀ“t say the gui is stable. perhaps due to vino, do not know. Afterwards I apt-get several packages for vmware server and tried to install vmware server, It failed on generating ssl. Now IĀ“will have a look at your howto, hope it helps.

  2. I didn’t remove cdrom access and have inserted the cdrom several times when the system asked for it. So, I don’t know if that piece of information has any significance. Anyway, I just include it for your information. Good luck and let us know how did it goes for you.

    Dave

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