Installing Ubuntu 7.10 Gutsy Gibbon on my Asus Eee PC
Well I went and got myself an Asus Eee PC the other day. What a fantastic piece of kit… but I have to say I didn’t like the OS much. You either have a ‘fisher price’ Xandros Linux desktop, or a Xandros KDE based one… Personally (and I am new to linux) I prefer Ubuntu’s Gnome-based layout.
Now in theory, this shouldn’t be too hard, but in order to make sure that this all works properly, I spent a great deal of time researching the process at EeeUser.com and various other sites.
This is my ‘How to’
- Reboot your Eee PC and ensure that the boot sequence is set to ATAPI CD Rom as the first choice.
- Plug in a USB CD Caddy and insert your Ubuntu 7.10 Gutsy Gibbon Live CD (Download Here)
- Once booted, click on Applications, Terminal and type gconf-editor
- Browse to apps/compiz/plugins/move/allscreens/options and uncheck constrain_y (Full details Here) – This allows you to move any window up beyond the height of the screen, which is very much needed during this install.
- Double Click on the “Install” Icon on the Desktop. Any time a window doesn’t fit, hold down the Alt key and drag the window off the top of the screen so you can see the buttons.
- Go through all the normal bits until you get to the Partitioning. Select manual and delete all the existing partitions. Create one partition of 4001Mb that is EXT2 and has a mount point of “/” – Ignore any “swap partition” warnings.
- Complete Install (answering any obvious questions accordingly)
- Reboot (after removing the CD)
- Redo Step 4 again (it gets lost in the install)
- Acknowledge the Athos “Restricted Driver” message
- Minimise Disk Writes (All obtained from Eeeuser.com) by doing the following:-
- Adding the following to /etc/fstab tmpfs /var/log tmpfs defaults,noatime 0 0
- Repeat for /tmp, /var/lock, /var/run and /var/tmp
- Set defaults,noatime 0 2 on the main ext2 partition (See HERE for more details) to prevent excessive wear and tear on your SSD
- If you ignored me and added a swap partition as well, then edit the /etc/sysctl.conf and add a line at the end that says vm.swappiness=0 this will tell the OS to use RAM in preference to Swap files.
- Go into Add/Remove, and remove the pointless applications that are taking up room on your little 4Gb SSD… I removed the following:-
- Most of the games (Really…How often are you actually going to play these?)
- F-spot Photo Manager (I user Flikr, so not needed)
- OnBoard (on-screen keyboard… not needed as we have one!)
- Orca (I can see just fine thank you…)
- Xsane (Nope… no scanners or faxes plugged into my Eee)
- Get your GMAIL all set up (Samsung tips here apply equally well… http://www.internet-tools.co.uk/blog/index.php?s=gmail)
Ok. So we have a working Eee PC running Ubuntu, but there are a few things ‘Broken’…. Battery Indicator, Wireless Lan, Webcam, Power Buttons, Lid sensor, Skype…..
But things I did fix from the Eeeuser site were:-
- Wireless network (via ndiswrapper method)
- Suspend/Resume/Power Down issues
- Webcam support (you have to enable it in the BIOS for Ubuntu to see it – it will reboot twice once enabled)
- Installed the ‘Littlefox’ theme into FireFox (takes up much less screen real-estate)
- Went into Appearance Preferences and set:-
- All the fonts to 8pt
- Icons to “Icon Only” (no text)
- Adjusted mouse sensitivity (wasn’t detecting my touchpad-taps very well)
- Set both status bars to 19 pixels in height
- Added my networked HP printer (I use a wireless gateway adapter connected to the Ethernet port on the OfficeJet)
Then I added some goodies…
- Enabled all the repositories in System, Administration, Software Sources
- Updated everything by going into System, Administration, Update Manager
- Installed all the BlueTooth stuff (so I can beam from my Samsung to the Eee PC)
- Installed Camorama (Web Cam Capture and Test App)
- Installed v2 of Skype (it has webcam support under linux)
27th November – NOTE: When installing the ndiswrapper, make sure you place the ndis folder that you downloaded from the cd/website somewhere sensible! I deleted the folder (thinking that ndiswrapper would copy the relevant files somewhere) and spent 2 hours trying to get my wireless lan working again 🙁
29th November – Added some screenshots of it in action.
30th November – Firstly… sorry if you haven’t been able to view this blog… Fasthosts cobbled my MySQL server 🙁 Secondly… I have had a minor problem (irritating, more than an issue) where the Eee PC will randomly reboot during the initial boot sequence. Essentially it gets ‘stuck’ about 20% through the first Ubuntu progress bar, and then reboots just fine. Haven’t sussed what it is yet, but it only happened after I enabled the Webcam in the BIOS…