Friday, October 11, 2013

Installing LinuxMint or Ubuntu on my XPS 14 ultrabook - what worked for me

I've also done these same steps for other UEFI laptops like the newer ASUS machines. Other than the BIOS tweaks, the same pattern should work for most newer UEFI computers.

UEFI seemed like a great idea and first, but it sorted of hozed things for people who want to run open source systems like many Linux flavors who do not have the ability to get a secure boot key (read tax for people with money).  Read more about UEFI here.

 I just installed LinuxMint 15 on my refurb I just got from the 30% off sale at dell outlet. Everything works, I didn't need a special kernel to make the keyboard backlight controls working, or screen dimmer.

I downloaded the Ubuntu secure remix from here onto a usb stick.

Items needed: 2 usb sticks, one with Secure Ubuntu Remix, and the other with the linux flavor of your choice Go here to get the image.

 Steps I did:

 1) Disable secure boot in bios, disable intel rapid start and caching. (My system has the 500gb + 32gb msata ssd)

2) boot into windows 8(newer machines with UEFI probably have windows 8 installed). Shrink partition down as low as it will go (it let me drop it down by 230gb or so). while holding down shift, click restart, keep holding it down until boot options appear, pick other/usb stick

3) ubuntu remix boots - click install, format 32gb ssd as target install, set boot loader to /dev/sda (it will default to that) to 500gb. It will make a grub partition there out of a small piece of free space

4) after reboot, ubuntu should boot. Go to boot repair icon it has, it pick auto-fix options. next reboot will give you a grub menu and let you choose UEFI loader or linux

5) both OSs should boot - At this point you can boot off another USB of your choice and replace the ubuntu install (I did linux mint) on the 32gb ssd.

After install, you'll have to manually add or download the boot repair tool again, it will fix grub so you can get both linux and windows After that I installed bumblebee to get my power consumption down to 15 watts or less. Before that its higher, as the nvidia 630 is always running. Everything works, battery life is good. Suspend/resume for me has not caused any issues yet, I've done it about 5 times today and wifi comes back and all. So far I am digging the machine!

 If you just want Linux installed and no Windows 8, in step 2, boot on the secure ubuntu image, and click on the icon for OS remover. You can then just erase the windows partition, then run boot repair and continue with rest of the steps.

 If you only have one hard disk, you'll just need to direct ubuntu to install on a new partition out of the free space on the drive you just made from either killing Windows or shrinking the partition. Tip: if you run a defrag util in windows first, you will be able to shrink the partition down more then as it comes. 

Good luck enjoying your new computer, free of Windows!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

My 2013 Wrap Up

What a great year for the US Gr8Conf! It was so great meeting everyone again (and folks I had not met yet)for my 2nd year speaking. The weather the perfect, Shaun and his volunteers kept everyone running without a hiccup, talks were great, after hours events were fun. I was excited to share what I have learned with tech I have been working with lately in my talks. It was great to attend the talks as well, which such a good balance of different kinds of topics all related in some way to Grails or Groovy. What was also the benefit above all others, is to network with speakers and attendees. That's when the real world stuff comes out, problems people face, things people are trying, as well as talking with the committers themselves on many projects. Watching videos of talks is great (They recorded them this year to appear later on InfoQ), but actually GOING to these conferences (like Gr8, GGX, S2GX and others) and talking to people is where at least half the value lies. What I love about this community is everyone is approachable and humble, and helpful. I've never seen anyone act snobby or 'too good' to talk to anyone. I hope that attitude always continues, which is one of the many reasons I love this great community. Thank you sponsors OPI, Target, Bloom, and others for the wonderful events, food, and drinks. The hackathon was great, but if we had it so our API keys worked through the conference and turned our submissions morning of the last day, and possibly allow 4 person teams, even cooler stuff would come out. I personally had too elaborate of an idea, and I didn't come close to finish it for submission in 4 hours. Thanks Jeff Beck for the lovely beer gift and for our beverage ingredients, thanks to Rob Fletcher for our drink exchange. Thanks Luke for the Dave and Busters cards! If there is one thing I DEFINITELY learned, was that Dan fixed the Grails twitter notifier plugin - or something :) Hope to see everyone next year in Minneapolis!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Austin Groovy and Grails Meetup April 4!

Come meet up with the Austin Groovy and Grails User Group meetup @ Mister Tramps, April 4! I will give a talk on clustering Quartz in Grails! (Same from last year!). This event sponsored by New Iron. (

Monday, January 28, 2013

When GVM

Love GVM for switching between Grails versions. However my install in Ubuntu stopped working a few weeks ago and I've been puzzled ever since. If you run gvm, and it stops working where the command 'gvm' returns nothing, run this: source ~/.gvm/bin/ then you can do 'gvm selfupdate' to bring it up to date. Working like a champ now! If you do Groovy/Grails/Griffon/Gradle/Vertx development and don't use GVM you should. Check it out at