- Change my mail reading program to Gnus, so that I can now keep exactly the same mail reading experience wherever I am.
- Get all contacts and passwords into a usable format. Cleaning up the data is not finished yet, but necessary in the long run.
- Avoid wasting time; reclaim my privacy; do things locally, if possible: so I closed my accounts at: Facebook, Anobii, LinkedIn, Twitter, XING, Dropbox, Yahoo (which also deleted flickr, so I transfered all the pictures to Picasaweb with migratr). I'm still looking for a way to drop Delicious as well and organize my bookmarks locally.
- Get a portable linux distro that I can use to go quickly to my workbench whenever I happen to be using another computer.
A portable linux distribution.
Sometimes I need to work away from my computers, and doing so is sometimes a bit annoying: sometimes I cannot find a decent terminal emulation software to connect back to my workstation; other times the machine is using Windows; etc. So I looked at a number of small Linux distributions that I can put in a USB pendrive and carry with me at all times.
In the past I have installed a number of computers with PuppyLinux and this time I also tried SliTaz. SliTaz looks really nice, fast and small, but I had to go for something more heavy becuase hardware recognition is a bit flaky (as with many other small distributions). If I wanted to give a second life to an old computer, I certainly would go for one of these two, but in this case I wanted to get a Linux system that I can carry in my bag and that it will work in most computers without the need to tweak boot parameters, etc.
So, I decided to go with what I currently have in my workstation: Ubuntu 10.04.02 LTS (though 32-bit). To get it all working I did the following:
- Create a VirtualBox virtual PC and install the server edition of Ubuntu, with NO extra software.
- After first boot, install the "basics" (taken loosely from here): xserver-xorg-core, xinit, network-manager, lxde, alsa-utils, gdebi-core and google chrome (see how).
- In the file /etc/NetworkManager/nm-system-settings.conf change "manage=false" to "manage=true"
- Make nm-applet to start automatically (see instructions).
- Install Remastersys (followed these and these instructions) and create modified ISO file.
- sudo apt-get update ;; sudo apt-get install remastersys
- modify /etc/remastersys.conf file
- "sudo su" to become root and then run "remastersys dist"
- The persistence file seems to be working, but I always get a "Install Portable Linux" icon in the desktop.
- The password I set for my account is deleted every time, so I just can login with no password.
The mandatory screenshot:
- I tried the same with the newest version of Ubuntu 11.04, but then I had problems booting from the USB (it would just show the "boot:" prompt, but then it would get stuck in there).
- With another, smaller pendrive (1GB), I also had problems: I managed to login the first time, but on reboot the pendrive would complain. No idea why...