Friday, January 04, 2013

digiKam installation and configuration - Part 2

In the post About picture correction and work optimization we have made a decision to use digiKam to correct thousands of scanned pictures as effectively as possible. But before we can start using digiKam, we need to install it and configure some settings. Since we have quite some work to do I have split it into several parts:
  • In Part 1 we talk about digiKam installation, then we install VMware Player and Ubuntu Linux on Windows and configure Ubuntu regional settings.
  • In this post we install digiKam and talk some more about VMware Player and Ubuntu Linux.
  • In Part 3 we copy pictures from Windows to Ubuntu VM and exercise some Ubuntu desktop tweaking.
  • In Part 4 we configure some of digiKam's settings and picture editor keyboard shortcuts.

DigiKam installation

Now we are ready to install digiKam. Open Ubuntu Software Center (it should be somewhere in the middle of the Launcher icons) and write digiKam to the search field (top right). In seconds it will appear on the top of the list. Click on it to select it and click on Install button that will appear. You will be asked for your password (that is standard in Ubuntu when installing software) and after you Authenticate the installation will start. You will only see a bar slowly moving to the right, but in the background digiKam and all required libraries will be downloaded and installed (it will take 5-10 minutes). You will know it is finished, when the Install button changes to Remove. Close the Ubuntu Software Center; the X button is in the top left corner, not in the top right where people used to Windows expect it.

DigiKam's icon will be shown in the Launcher (if you accidentaly closed it, open Dash Home; the top icon in Launcher; type digiKam in the search field on the top and the shortcut to it will appear below), click it and digiKam will welcome you with "first run assistant". Just click Next (several times) and Finish; all the options you confirm by that are good choices and all can be corrected later if required. Close "tip of the day" and I suggest to remove mark at Show tips on startup.

screen by screen guide how to install digiKam on Ubuntu 12.04

More about VMware Player and Ubuntu Linux

That’s it; two downloads and a lot of Next clicks, it has not taken you a lot more than half an hour, didn’t it? And by the way, this is also a good moment to allow Update Manager to do its job. Click it in the Launcher, click Install Updates, enter your password and take another rest. After update is finished, you will need to Restart Now to complete it.

I suppose a final explanation is required for those not familiar with virtualization. The Ubuntu VM we have created is like another complete virtual Linux computer running inside your existing physical Windows computer. You have already seen how to Login into it. You can also Log Out of it by clicking on the toothed wheel button in the top right corner of VM. And like on a physical computer you must use Shut Down (again starting on the toothed wheel button) when not used anymore, which will also close the VMware Player. If you try to close the outside VMware Player’s window of the running VM using standard Windows X button, VMware Player gives you a choice to Suspend or Power Off the VM. I strongly advise against choosing to Power Off a running VM, it is like plugging a physical computer out of electric power when it is working which can cause very bad things to the integrity of the disk drive. The only eligible reason to use Power Off is if the VM hangs. On the other side it is perfectly safe and useful to Suspend a running VM, which freezes its current state including all running programs. When you later restart a suspended VM you find yourself exactly where you have left only the clock is updated to present time.

screen by screen guide how update Ubuntu and Shut Down or Suspend the VM

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