Ubuntu Hardy Heron version 8.04.1 was released on 3 July 2008. A few days later, I decided to get a cheap laptop, and the new eeePC 900 came to mind. Since the eeePC ran Xandros Linux, it should be relatively simple to change the OS to Ubuntu, and enabling all necessary hardware components.
Download and install
It took approximately half an hour to download the alternate i386 iso by bittorren. Installation was straightforward without any error. Here is a brief step-by-step rundown of the installation:
- Attach an external CDROM to USB port.
- Change BIOS boot priority to the CDROM.
- Plug-in wired ethernet.
- Power on, and boot into Live CD.
- Check CD for defects (took a couple of minutes).
- Run memtest for 5 minutes (only about 10% completed, as I was impatient to get started).
- Start installation.
- Select Guided Partitioning, use entire sda (delete existing OS).
The eeePC was slow, and it took about 1 hour 20 minutes to complete the installation.
This eeeuser wikipage gave excellent information on tweaking Hardy for the eeePC. However, if you installed Hardy 8.04.1 on the latest eeePC 900, some information might be slightly outdated.
The following were notes on what I tweaked or don’t tweaked, compared to what were in the wiki. Of course, the wiki is a live document and might change occasionally. If any information given here did not make sense, feel free to ignore it.
- I didn’t see the wired ethernet problem mentioned, and did not have to remove the battery.
- WiFi driver compiled and worked perfectly.
It connected to my WPA2 network without any problem. Keep the source directory where you compile the driver, because you would have to repeat this occasionally.
- Skipped array.org custom kernel.
- Applied shutdown hack.
- Skipped fix for Firefox 3 hanging.
I believed this was a Firefox 3 beta problem, which has been fixed.
- Skipped the all-in-one scripts.
- Slightly different steps to the processor scaling.
sudo apt-get remove powernowd sudo apt-get install cpufrequtils sysfsutils sudo modprobe p4_clockmod
Add the cpu frequency applet.
Skipped the remaining commands; instead control CPU scaling by gconf-editor.
Navigate to: apps > gnome-power-manager > cpufreq
Set: policy_ac to performance, and policy_battery to ondemand.
- Applied wifi and other hotkeys fixes; including ACPI fixes.
After the ACPI fix, the WiFi stopped working; recompiled the driver to restore.
Note the second part of hotkeys fix was located below the section on audio fixes.
- Applied startup fix.
- Skipped the audio fixes; I don’t mind if there is no audio after resume.
- Skipped OSD fixes; the explanation for this was unclear.
- Skipped ScreenResolution; screen resolution was already ok.
- Skipped LCD hack.
I used gconf-editor to control the LCD brightness. Though it didn’t work perfectly, it was good enough for me.
Navigate to: apps > gnome-power-manager > backlight; set brightness_ac to 90, and brightness_battery to 60.
- Applied compiz fix.
- Applied “mail client launching” fix.
- Skipped 3G hack. Didn’t have a 3G internet connection.
- Skipped memory card hacks; didn’t use memory card at the moment.
- Skipped encrypt root partition.
- Skipped compress /usr.
For some strange reason when I used the eeePC in a certain location, I found the touchpad to be extremely insensitive to the point of unusable. I later discovered that the problem would go away if I unplugged the AC adaptor from the eeePC. It would appear that the AC or AC adaptor has something to do with it, though I don’t know exactly why.
This eeeuser forum thread got the webcam working. See post #12 for the instructions.
Two applications I found to be working well with the webcam: cheese and luvcview.
sudo apt-get install cheese luvcview
To run luvcview, you need to use this command:
luvcview -f yuv
After installing some applications, the harddisk space in root directory was running low. I decided to move the swap partition to sdb, and reclaimed the entire sda for root. I used GParted Live on USB for changing the partitions, but the /etc/fstab has to be manually edited. In addition, the second part of the usplash boot screen disappeared after changing swap. Use this fix to bring it back.