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Old 02-18-2013, 08:41 PM   #1
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Smile Want to get into compiling the Kernel but still dont know where to start!

I love the thousands of new features in Ubuntu 12.10 but I miss the ease of controle I have lost since 10.04! I hate the new menu and was told I could compile the kernel to act like the old versions! I dis-like all the "Propriatary" software advertised in 12.10 also! I see it under-mining the security that I have enjoyed for 6 years now! Need a little help in "Where do I start" if some one with patience can help me! Thank-you! ~Linux Crazy~ P.S. I am currently running gNewsense!

Last edited by cyclops1962; 02-18-2013 at 08:49 PM.
Old 02-18-2013, 09:34 PM   #2
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And Welcome to Linux Questions!

Here are reasons "To Compile" and reasons "Not to Compile".
Seriously; you shouldn't compile unless you really have a good reason.

I too enjoyed Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid for many years but I wouldn't compile the kernel to attempt to get it
to act like the old version- That's just me. Others may consider this a wise build.
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Old 02-19-2013, 08:58 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by cyclops1962 View Post
. . . I hate the new menu and was told I could compile the kernel to act like the old versions! . . .
You have been grossly mis-informed. The "new menu" has nothing to do with the kernel and everything to do with the Unity desktop. So re-compiling the kernel WILL not change the menu in the slightest.

If you want the old style menu, you must switch to the old desktop which was GNOME 2.32. But since Ubuntu has everything tied to Unity, un-installing it and re-installing GNOME 2.32 is all but impossible.

Originally Posted by cyclops1962 View Post
. . .I dis-like all the "Propriatary" software advertised in 12.10 also! I see it under-mining the security that I have enjoyed for 6 years now! . . .
If by Propriety you mean the commercial software, and if you dislike them that much, then simply don't pay for them.

Note though, that propriety software and commercial software are not necessarily the same thing.

Propriety software are closed-source, meaning that the source code is not available for inspection or modification. Two examples are the nVidia and ATI propriety drivers. Even though they are closed-sourced, they are still available free-of-charge.

Commercial software on the other hand, may be either closed or open-source. In either case, it's commercial software so a fee is charged for it's use.

Most (and I repeat MOST) open-souce software under Linux, are published under either the GNU/GPLv2 or GNU/GPLv3 license. These licenses, among other things, gives you, the user, the right to modify or change the source-code. But it also gives the original publisher the right to charge a fee for it's use and also gives you the user, the right to modify and re-distribute such software for a fee even if the original publisher did not charge a fee for the use of such software.

So note this: While open source published under the GNU/GPL's are considered FREE, that is FREE as in the freedom to modify and distribute the software, not necessarily FREE as in free-of-charge.

So such open-source software, while being commercial, does not necessarily undermine the security that you and others have enjoyed over the years simply because the source code is available for inspection.

Originally Posted by cyclops1962 View Post
. . ."Where do I start" . . .
The best place at this time would be to learn exactly what a kernel is and what it does. After you've read and understood it's place in the Operating System, then decide if you would still like to compile your own kernel. If you do, there's plenty of help available here at LQ in the Kernel forum.

Next, familiarize yourself with the different Desktop Environments (D.E.) such as GNOME, XFCE, Unity etc.
Here's a link to start you off:

Edit: Just had a look over at the gNewSense website and the above is summarized nicely:

Probably should have looked there first.

Last edited by towheedm; 02-19-2013 at 09:11 PM.
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Old 02-25-2013, 03:57 AM   #4
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Good answers so far. Yes, the latest Ubuntu releases feature a new Desktop named "Unity".

The Kernel, however, has nothing to do with how the Desktop looks & feels.

If you don't like the Unity desktop, you'll probably have to switch to a different Linux distribution.

If you want something more classic, look out for an Ubuntu-based Distribution that comes with either a MATE or Cinnamon Desktop (see Linux Mint, for example), or maybe try an Xfce spin (ala Xubuntu or even Debian with Xfce), or maybe E17 (Enlightenment) as installed by default by Bodhi Linux.

On you can see what kinds of choices there are.

Regarding desktops, i personally used KDE3, then as KDE4 came i switched to Gnome2, and as Gnome3 and Unity came up, i eventually switched to Xfce which i'm eventually quite happy with. Conservative, fast, slim but not archaic.

Regarding Linux distributions: for something more conservative than *buntu, try Debian "Wheezy" (currently still the "testing" branch but already very stable and very close to become the next official "stable" release) and have a look at the Xfce "edition". Debian also won't bug you with "proprietary" software if you don't want such stuff. Maybe you'll find that you still want to install the proprietary (original/binary) Nvidia driver or even ugly stuff like Flash Player..


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