Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Eeebuntu on an Acer Aspire One

I recently acquired and Acer Aspire One. I wanted to put a Ubuntu based distibution on it, mainly because I'm familiar with Ubuntu and wanted the wide range of ubuntu packages available.

My first attempt was to install the Ubuntu netbook remix. This installed well and worked perfectly. The only issues I ran into were that it set the architecture to 'lpia' rather than 'i386'. I know the former is technically correct, but many repositiories do not have packages for 'lpia'. This prevented me from installing skype from medibuntu and I also could not get BBC radio to play due to inability to find a suitable version of realplayer.

I considered doing a generic intrepid install and then adding the netbook interface, but after doing some googling read that the intrepid kernel does not have support for the wireless care in the Acer Aspire One. Whilst there are good instructions on how to work round this I decided to wait for Jaunty.

However, I then discovered EeeBuntu. Reading around there were reports of it working out of the box on the Acer Aspire One.

So, I decided to install the netbook remix (NBR) version.

The install process was pretty straightforward.

The process is as follows:

  1. Download the iso from here.

  2. Put the iso onto a USB stick

  3. Boot your acer from the usb stick

  4. If all goes well do the install.

Stage 2. is probably the trickiest. Since I was running Ubuntu
Intrepid on the machine I downloaded the iso to this was actually
quite straightforward.

There is a package, usb-creator, that will take an iso and turn it
into an appropriate usb stick. If usb-creator is installed, it should
be available from the menu under "System->Administration->Create a usb
startup disk".

Just Plug in a USB stick (a 1G stick should be plenty big enough).
Start the usb-creator, select the iso you have downloaded and the
stick to copy to and you are done.

If you don't have usb-creator available the best bet is probably to use unetbootlin. This is a utility similar to usb-creator that has versions for both linux and windows.

Once the stick has been created, just plug it into the netbook and go
into settings at boot to select booting from the usb stick.

If all goes well your netbook will boot into a Ubuntu live, running
off the stick. This allows you to check everything is working before
doing a full install.

If all is well, you should probably take a back up of anything in your
current home directory that you might want to preserve (again, usb
sticks are good for this).

Once you have the backup you should find an option to install under

The install itself went pretty smoothly, the only things I did
different was to choose custom partitioninng so that I could specify
that ext2, rather than ext3 should be used for the filesystem. My
netbook has an SSD drive and the story is that ext2 performs better
and does not result in so many repeated writes to the disk. I'm not
sure if this is a practical issue or not. Also, I chose not to
allocate any space to swap. Again, this reduces disk writes.

The install went very smoothly. If you are not confident with
partitioning then I would suggest just picking the option to use the
full disk.

Once installed networking was working as was sound (including BBC
radio). I added the medibuntu repositories and was able to install
skype, which again worked well.

Since the initial install I have discovered that the wireless is a
little flaky and have had some sound glitches. My current plan is to
live with these and upgrade to Jaunty when it comes out.

Meanwhile, if you have an EEE pc then I'd expect this distro to work
really well. For the Acer Aspire One it is also pretty close.

IRMA Threatens Irish ISPs

Blacknight has this response to a letter from the IRMA, with RIAA type threats demanding they take action against infringing users.

The letter explains that going through the courts is impractical because, ".. as a logistic matter they could only identify a finite number of infringers while meanwhile the infringement was going on wholesale."

I'm puzzled by this. Are the lawyers really suggesting there are an infinite number of infringers? If so, it is rather pointless them trying to pursue a few of them.

How can they get away with complaining that the courts can only deal with a finite number of infringers?