Font Appearance in Ubuntu…

As I said in my previous post, fonts are the most coveted jewelerry to brace your desktop. So keeping it clear and beautiful is a must.

To get good fonts in Ubuntu(I feel the defaults suck quite a bit), you can install the msttcorefonts package. Make sure you have the universe repository enabled. Fire up the terminal and type the following:

sudo apt-get install msttcorefonts

If you’ve got other fonts, installing them is as easy as copying the fonts files to the ~/.fonts directory. If you don’t find the directory, you can just create one.

After the installation, go to System–>Preferences–>Appearance. Select the Fonts tab. Select your favourite fonts for the different purposes from the dropdown lists(my favourite is Trebuchet MS) and set a good size(I have set mine to 8 ) so that they look clean and clear.

Now if you are using an LCD screen, you can make them look even better. Under the Fonts tab, select ‘Subpixel smoothing(LCDs)’ under Rendering. Then Click on Details. Select Resolution to be 96 dpi. Under Hinting, select ‘Slight’. Close the windows and see the difference for yourself.

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Font Appearance in Windows XP…

According to me, the appearance of a desktop does not depend on the themes you use as much it depends on the wallpaper and the fonts. By default, the fonts in Windows XP appear very rough and ugly. There is a really nice feature in Windows XP which can make your fonts look real good. You need to follow these steps:

1. First goto Control Panel –> Performance and Maintenance –> Adjust Visual Effects. From the list make sure “Smooth edges of screen fonts” is checked.

2. Next, right click on any blank area on the desktop and select “Properties”. Click on the tab “Appearance”. Click on the “Effects” button. Put a checkmark on the box which says “Use the following method to smooth the edges os screen fonts: ” and select ClearType from the drop down list. Click OK.

Now notice the difference.

Added a new category..

I’ll be adding a new category called “Windows XP Tips” to my blog. This is after a recent conversation with one of my friends(check out his blog in my blogroll) who suggested me to write about Windows as it is the most commonly used OS. So, stay tuned…..

Installing openSUSE…..

Today I’ll be showing you how to install openSUSE 11.1.

1. First of all you need to download openSUSE 11.1 from here.

2. I used the openSUSE GNOME live CD. It shouldn’t be very different if you use the KDE live CD.

3. After downloading the CD, pop the disc in your CD drive and restart the computer. Make sure your computer is set to boot off CD in the BIOS.

4. When you get GRUB(the OS selection screen), select the option which says “openSUSE 11.1 GNOME/KDE live CD”.

5. After the booting is complete and you are provided with the desktop, double click on the “install” icon. A window like this comes up:

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Select your Language and Keyboard layout.

6. Select your time zone from the world map provided on the next screen. Do not check “Hardware clock set to UTC”.

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7. The next screen provides you with the recommended partition set up. It is recommended that you should follow the one given in there, if you don’t have experience in partitioning.

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Note that it automatically detects your Windows partitions so that you are able to dual-boot safely and easily. Click next.

8. In the next screen you need to create a new user. Fill up your username and password. If you need more security, you can deselect the “Automatic Login” checkbox.

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Click Next.

9. The next screen offers an overview of the whole installation. If you feel like changing something just click on “Change” and select the portion you want to change from the list. When satisfied, click Next.
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10. Click Install for a final confirmation of your installation.
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11. Now grab a cup of coffee/tea and listen to some music as you leave the computer on its own to do the installation.
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Congratulations! You have successfully installed openSUSE 11.1 in your computer. Now reboot your computer, remove the CD and select openSUSE 11.1 from GRUB start using openSUSE(or if you did not remove the CD you can select the “Boot from Hard Disk” option).

Thanks for attending. Stay tuned for more…..

Choosing a Distro……..

Happy New Year !! 🙂

The first step to start using GNU/Linux is to find out which distribution is the right one for you. So how do you go about choosing the right distro for your computer. Let’s find out.

Firstly, ask yourself what kind of distro you want to use. Do you want an easy to use distro, one with paid support, supported by community, one which has all the codecs and other proprietary softwares preinstalled ? Is your hardware somewhat aged ? Are you experienced in operating the system ? All these things go a long way in deciding your user experience. You can try this site to help you in deciding: http://www.zegeniestudios.net/ldc/

If you want an easy to use distro, you could try Ubuntu, openSUSE, PCLinuxOS and Mandriva One. Both have excellent community support as well. I’d started off with Ubuntu and have since moved onto openSUSE. If you have a good knowledge of Linux, you could try out Gentoo and Arch Linux. Fedora is also a good choice, but it is kind of bleeding edge rather than being leading edge. If you want distros to be run on older hardware, you could try Damn Small Linux or Puppy Linux or Xubuntu; these are quite light-weight and fast. For paid support you can try, Red Hat Enterprise Linux(RHEL 5 Desktop), SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop(SLED 10), Linspire, Xandros, Mandriva Powerpack.

Perhaps, you may need to try out a number of distros before you find out the one that suits your needs. Its always safe and good to try out a distro on a live CD(if one is available for download), before installing it on the computer. A live CD is a CD which contains the entire Linux distro. If you boot off the CD you can try out the entire system and see if it works on your hardware to your liking or not. While it is not the best way to judge the features of a distro (e.g. the system will feel slow when run from the live CD), it sure is the safest.

So, go ahead and enjoy the adventure. Stay tuned for more…..