How To: Install regular Ubuntu on a 2g Surf
Posted 13 January 2009 - 09:33 AM
- Unetbootin didn't work for me with mini.iso. I read, I think it was in Unetbootin's page, that the intrepid mini iso wouldn't boot, so no surprises here.
- OK, so I burn a complete CD for just 10MB of data and get the thing to boot from this CD, with an external USB CD Drive.
- After the usual questions, the install process starts. It will take a looong time, and you may think more than once that the eee has frozen. Expect about two, two and a half hours of download and install of the base system.
- Reboot, and, as the OP explains, install xorg and a window manager. I chose openbox instead of xfce to save more disk space (which I later wasted with firefox and synaptic). Installation size -for now- 600MB or so.
- startx and, surprise, surprise, the keyboard and mouse do not work (just in X). Not cool. Pressing ctrl-alt-F1 took me back to the shell, and ctrl-C "took care" of X. Now what?
- Let's see what /etc/X11/xorg.conf has to say about this: nice, xorg.conf is an empty file. Things aren't getting any cooler here. Since it is obvious that X is not properly autodetecting the mouse and keyboard, I roll up my sleeves and manually write a minimal xorg.conf. I copied the relevant sections of post #4 of this thread: http://forum.eeeuser...opic.php?id=688. A little tip: back up your current xorg.conf before installing ubuntu, you may need it.
- startx again and... it works! I'm still surprised with X autodetecting the video card and resolution out of the box, and at the same time failing to recognize a pretty standard keyboard and mouse. Usually the opposite is true. I strongly suspect that choosing the US international keyboard layout may have something to do with this, because I found some other funny things that would take too long to explain (it has to do with the vi editor behaving kind of funny, long story).
- OK. I install synaptic and firefox, and end up with a really barebones system taking about 800MB of space. It boots faster than regular Ubuntu, but slower than Xandros. I would say about 30-40 seconds of boot time.
- Call it a day
I will post future updates. I must say that I'm tempted to wipe everything out and install regular ubuntu intrepid (easy peasy is out of the question, and yes, it is because of the silly name), but I'm kind of liking the challenge. Coming up: sound (using the -I hope- helpful tips of the OP), and wifi and hotkeys. I will use adamm's kernel instead of the method proposed by the OP, though.
Edit: After a quick session I got both sound and wireless working. I started by installing the intrepid-lean kernel from the array.org repository, then alsa, then Marx's eee-control for hotkeys and performance settings and finally wicd. By the way, wicd is a terrific recommendation by the OP, enabling the default gnome network manager in synaptic and all required dependencies reports 180MB of extra data compared to the 3MB of wicd. Everything is working as expected. Disk usage: around 900MB, but still pending install of some other apps, it could be less, however, if I chose another browser instead of Firefox.
So, a quick summary of my experience following wolfen's "light ubuntu" method on a 701 4G (non-Surf):
- I didn't mention it earlier, but I've never found it necessary to have a swap partition, and I've done all kinds of things with the eee without having it run out of RAM. Partitioning the whole disk for data is a pretty safe bet.
- You may need to edit xorg.conf manually in order to get the keyboard and the mouse working.
- I personally prefer adamm's intrepid-lean kernel to manually getting the atheros module. I also recommend eee-control for hotkeys and performance settings.
Other than that, wolfen's how-to has been a great inspiration. Thank you.
Sorry for the long post.
Edited by LuisMW, 13 January 2009 - 03:59 PM.
Posted 13 January 2009 - 06:56 PM
and of course, anything in my tutorial can be altered to suit the individual. but i believe it may help some people that are considering a light, minimal install, and those that don't want anything preconfigured.
@LuisMW: good to hear you got it going. enjoy.
Posted 08 May 2009 - 03:46 PM
Can this method be done with 9.04? I have a little green 2g Surf and have been pretty frustrated in getting anything (other than slipstreamed and heavily modded XP) to run on the internal SSD. I have tried out other 'buntus for netbooks/eee and installed them on my 8g SD card, but they don't run as quickly as I'd like.
I'm going to try this out this weekend with my 2g, but would love to know if I can get 9.04 on it. If not, Intrepid is fine. :)
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