"A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects." (Robert A. Heinlein)

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Installed Ubuntu 9.10 (NBR) on EEEPC 900

The upgrades season continues … after upgrading my desktop I decided to give a try to the lastly released Ubuntu version also on the EEEPC. I so downloaded, using bittorrent, Ubuntu 9.10 NBR ISO image from here and prepared a bootable SD card using the utility provided in Ubuntu desktop. I then started the EEEPC from the SD card reader and had my first test run on the system.

The test run

Once started the live distribution I run a system test in order to verify that all the hardware was properly working. The test result has been positive: I have been able to use wireless network, audio, microphone, webcam and all of the special function keys.

Why to upgrade from EEEBuntu?

EEEBuntu is a great distribution, it worked fine since I installed it almost one year ago, but the only advantage it offers versus plain Ubuntu is hardware support. Now, once I verified the EEEPC 900 is fully supported by the new Ubuntu release, I have no reason to continue using a EEE specific distribution, regular Ubuntu distribution offers a definitively better freshness of updates (EEEBuntu is still based on Jaunty).


The installation process proceeded smoothly, I simply started the EEEPC from the SD card, I had already prepared for the test run, then I selected the install option in the boot menu. After answering the usual ritual questions the installation started and in a while I had my brand new system ready to run.

First run

The boot time from the 16GB EEEPC 900 second hard disc is about 1'15”, which is not bad indeed, EEEBuntu needed a little more to fully start-up. At first I disabled the annoying applet (Maximus) that automatically maximizes all newly opened windows, made some desktop personalization (you know, I prefer cold colors themes) and installed FBReader and TrueCrypt. Here is how the system looks now.


After less than one year since my EEEBuntu installation many things are improved: my EEEPC is fully supported and I also managed to prepare the bootable USB media without the need of external application. I'm quite satisfied with the new system and I think that advantages of having a fully upgraded Ubuntu on my netbook are well worth the trouble of re-installing some application.

Not all is  really working correctly: Ubuntu does not properly recognize battery capacity. I didn't notice it during install because I was installing without the battery inserted. I hope they will solve this bug soon but, in the meanwhile, I can live with it.

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