Bumping this because I have achieved a milestone in my Linux journey over the past 24 hours.
I am trying to find a way to explain this that won't get trodden down in tech-speak... My computer is an older machine without a ton of bells and
whistles. It was a gift from my sister. An old Dell Optiplex GX270. It's got a great motherboard and, even though the processor is a P4 with
hyperthreading, it does manage to keep up with most things I throw at it, even today. It's a work horse of a chipset that has held up admirably over
the past ten years.
The problem is that this machine also has a built in GPU stack... an Intel 82865g.
The Intel® 82865G graphics controller is the display adapter component of the Intel® 865G chipset family. The Intel 82865G graphics controller,
combined with the Intel® Extreme Graphics Driver allows the output of high quality 2D/3D video and graphics to the display.
As the above says... In Windows life is as easy as downloading that driver, which includes a program that runs in the system tray and keeps things
flowing quite nicely - again keeping up with many modern applications, even many games that it, technically, should not be able to run ( based upon
minimum specs for those games ) - yet it will run them and well enough to not be bothersome.
Sadly there is no port of that program for Linux. IE in Linux my 2D/3D GPU was stuck in total 2D mode.
This caused a few major issues when I first started out. Many Linux flavors have multiple versions out at any given time. For example, I am using
Ubuntu 12.04 LTS, the "LTS" standing for "Long Term Support". That means this build will receive updates for five years. It is named 12.04 because it
came out in April of 2012 - thus 04/12 or 12.04. Since then Ubuntu has also released two more versions that are not LTS. 12.10 ( October, 2012 ) and
13.04 ( April, 2013 ). With Ubuntu ( though this might be changing next year ) the plan is that every two years a new "LTS" gets released - thus the
next would be 14.04. Anyway, I quickly found that 12.04 loaded onto my computer quite nicely and would run in 2D mode without any tweaking. 12.10 and
13.04 did not do so. I could run them from a USB in a "live session" ( not installed on my HD ) ... but if I tried to install them to my computer I
would find myself without a GUI at all - staring at wallpaper on my screen and nothing else.
Ultimately I figured 12.04 was fine and accepted that "bleeding edge" and my machine weren't a good mix.
One of the great things about Linux is that one does not get stuck with a single desktop environment or GUI, as Windows tends to do. I know that Win8
has "Metro" but, dear God... what a boring interface that is... It's like being stuck on a smart phone and NOT a PC ( IMO ). The only other option is
"traditional"... a taskbar with a "Start" button and menu. Linux - in all forms - is not limited like that. Currently I have about 14 or 15 different
interface or desktop environments that I can choose from when I log in. It's like having 14 or 15 different computers really. Some are similar to one
another, others are completely unique. It's quite fun and exciting. I've got a different GUI for any mood or purpose I might have.
The thing is that the whole 2D and no 3D issue was limiting to me... and since I have OCPD and sometimes fixate... what were really just minor
inconveniences got to me and I began to nearly obsess over wanting them to go away. The specific issue was rather mundane - but drove me nuts... I
installed a theme to my Ubuntu that was supposed to make opened windows transparent... see through... The theme would load well enough and was
pretty... but the windows failed to be see through. This was something I just couldn't accept.
With most problems in Linux a simple websearch is enough to find an answer. However where the Intel 82865 is concerned, this is NOT the case. By the
number of results that pop-up, it's easy to see that a LOT of people are stuck with this issue. But the answer to their quandary was always "Buy a
graphics card dude".
I cannot buy one - so I had to keep searching. To no avail. During this search I tried a thousand different things that were hinted at in posts. About
half of them resulted in my having to throw my USB install stick back into the slot and start from scratch with a fresh reinstall of Ubuntu. Quite the
pain in the butt to have to start downloading updates over and over and over and over again.
But I wanted see through windows damnit!
Yesterday I was studying Linux commands specific to a rendering program called Compiz that is in Linux and I found my answer. A simple command...
That did it. It was that simple. I now have see through windows and true 3D in Linux.
Bear in mind, I accessed hundreds and hundreds of tech forums that did not offer any help.
I feel accomplished.
edit on 3/23/13 by Hefficide because: (no reason given)