So you got yourself an Eee PC or a Netbook, and you got fed up with the pre-installed Windows? Or do you want to run something more stable – safer and free? There are a few reasons why Linux is a better alternative, but I will not discuss it here.
Around 10 days ago, I got an Eee PC 1000 H. It came with 160 GB hard drive, 1 GB ram and Windows XP Home Edition. Not being a Windows fan, and a hard core OS X user, I had to look for an alternative to run without many problems.
I found some posts where people have installed the OS X Hackintosh version, but they also had a shit load of issues, and issues was something that I was not looking for. Therefore, my second choice on the list was to go with Linux, and being familiar with Ubuntu I gave it a shot.
Yesterday, Ubuntu 9.04 aka the Jaunty Jackelope was launched, this version also sported a Netbook Remix version of the Ubuntu Gnome distro. So in this post, we will use the Ubuntu Netbook Remix (UNR), which is designed for small screens and optimized for netbooks.
Are you ready? Let’s start…
So, what do you need?
- As most netbooks do not sport an optical drive, you will need a 1 GB or bigger flash drive. Get a nice one, and don’t be a cheap ass here. You might face boot up issues if your flash drive sucks.
- UNR image file.
- Boot tools, depending on whether you are using Windows, Mac or Linux.
- And no doubt, the Netbook!
Before downloading, check this list of the models which are supported and what issues you might face by installing UNR on your netbook.
So to Download the UNR image file, go to this page, select a server, and start the download process. The file is something of 1 Gegs, so it might take some time depending on your connection speed.
But don’t just sit back and do nothing while the file is being download. Go to this wiki page, where you will learn how to create a bootalbe USB flash drive. It’s quite easy really, and should be no biggy. Also start downloading the tool you will need depending the OS you are currently on, and wait till the UNR image file has finished downloading.
Creating the Bootable Flash Drive:
If you are not using Ubuntu, skip this part, and get help from the wiki page I mentioned earlier. Sorry, but if you face troubles, drop a comment and I’ll do my utmost to help.
When I was preparing this guide, I was already using UNR 9.04 (daily release version – not the official release). I really didn’t even feel like booting up a Windows machine, therefore, I used the usb-imagewriter package for Ubuntu. To install, fire up your terminal and run the following commands:
sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get install usb-imagewriter
Enter your password when asked. After that follow the rest of the instructions here.
Boot to your Flash Drive:
This might differ from one netbook to the other. For the Eee PC 1000 H, I had to do the following;
- First, make sure the bootable flash drive which you just created is inserted in a usb port on your netbook.
- Restart or Start your netbook (Duh!!)
- Right after it starts to startup, keep the F2 button pressed for almost 3 seconds. Release, and just wait. This will boot the USB flash drive. If it fails, and boots your installed OS instead, make sure that the boot sequence is set correctly on your BIOS, and try again.
- You will be asked to select the preffered language. Afterwards, select the first option where you will “Try UNR without any change to your computer, just to make sure everything works”
So, when everything is up and running, you will be able to try out whether you like it or not, and if everything is working as it should. You might face problems with WIFI authentication if you are have a WPA/WPA2 authentication. Do not worry about that though, as there is a simple fix for it, which we will take care of once we install UNR.
Once ready, start the install by clicking on it.
Follow the steps, i.e. select the language, time zone, keyboard lay out and once your arrive the partitions zone, take a deep breath, and follow the coming steps carefully.
Partitioning will depend on whether you want to keep Windows (i.e. dual boot) or not.
If you want to totally get rid of the Windows installation, select the use entire disk option, and follow the steps.
Otherwise, if you want want to keep your Windows installation, do the following:
If you only have one partition, select the first option where it will install side by side and you will be able to choose them at start ups. This option will automatically create a partition for you. I do not really like this option, instead I will go with the second option where you will create your own partitions.
As you can see in the above image, select the second partition on your drive, which is where nothing was installed, and click on the “Delete Partition”. Make sure you leave the main partition, and the other partitions as they are.
Next, select the free space. Click on new partion. In the size box enter 1024 (mega bytes), and in the “Use as” select swap. When done press OK.
Once again, select free space. Leave the size entered as it is. Also, make sure the “Use as” and the “Mount point” are selected as the above image.
Once done click forward, follow the remaining steps, and you should be ready to install.
Now, click the install button, and enjoy the show. While at it, grab a drink, sit back, and wait for the magic to happen.
When installation is finished, click restart, and when asked, remove the usb disk. You will now start your Eee PC with UNR.
Don’t start popping the champagne bottles yet, there are some things we need to fix first.
WiFi WPA Authentication Issue:
Taken from Ubuntuforums:
A solution involves downgrading the RT2860 driver to version 184.108.40.206 (the last know fully working driver). It seems to work much more reliably for me at least on 1000h.
1) Get the driver from http://www.array.org/ubuntu/dists/intrepid/eeepc/binary-i386/rt2860-dkms_220.127.116.11_all.deb
2) Go to terminal, and move the preinstalled driver so it won’t get loaded.
sudo mv rt2860sta.ko rt2860sta.bak
3) Install rt2860-dkms_18.104.22.168_all.deb. It will also install dependencies needed to compile the driver. If it doesn’t retrieve the right packages, make sure “build-essential”, “linux-header-generic” and “dkms” is installed. Let it run and it should complete without a problem.
4) Restart. The new driver should work automatically.
You will only need the dkms package, which can be installed by running the following commands in the terminal.
sudo apt-get update
sudp apt-get install dkms
To get the volume up, make sure you have the lines volume set to the max as in the picture. You can do that by click the speaker button at the top, and then click volume control.
Fn + F2 to toggle Wifi:
For this hack, please visit Thorsten’s post. This is an awesome post, which will guide you in installing the Eee PCI ACPI Settings to get all the hotkey’s running. Also recommended if you would like to install the regular 32-bit ubuntu desktop edition. And Thorsten is helping a lot from the comments he is getting. Great Job!
Classic Ubuntu Desktop:
If you don’t like the Ubuntu Netbook Destop, and want to have the classic Ubuntu Desktop, just go to Preferences >> Switch Dekstop Mode.
That all folks. Now you can pop as many champagne bottles as you wish! I hope that this guide helps you, and that you enjoy using ubuntu on your Eee PC or netbook. If you have any issues or questions, drop me a line in the comments, and I’ll try to help. Cheers :)