eeeUbuntu – my first steps

I’ve bought an eeePC (1000H) last week. It’s shipped with Windows-XP Home which isn’t the OS of my choice so one of the very first steps was to install Linux on it. Normally I use Debian GNU/Linux but in case of studying for some exams in my study of law I haven’t got time to play around so I decided to use eeeUbuntu in the meantime.

Install of eeeUbuntu using USB-Stick

The main problem is to convince my eeepc to start from a pluged-in USB-Stick. First you need to change your boot settings in BIOS to boot from Removal Devices. Then I recommend to deactivae Quick Boot and Quiet Boot at Boot > Boot Settings Configuration and turn off bla so you can see the whole BIOS bootup. And then you have to be quite fast and pressing the ESC-button when BIOS is checking your memory. You want see it for long time and it drove me nuts to find it – really! But if you know it, it shouldn’t be a problem in future. After install you should reactivate the boot settings from above.

Reactivate root login

In Ubuntu it’s standard that you use the sudo-command for root.actiivites. I don’t like that and so I gave root a password.

sudo passwd root

Deactivate new user interface and bring back normally Gnome

If you install eeeUbuntu there is a new user interface which hides the normal gnome look and feel. All windows are started maximized and you haven’t got a normal task bar but I like my taskbar and panels on top. First of all I Google is your friend. I’ve found the answer at the eee-ubunto-wiki and used the install of a nbr-switcher as described in the wiki article.

After running nbr-switch off I’ve deactivated the autostart of Maximus and UME Desktop Launcher at System > Settings > Sessions. Next step was to add a second panel by right-clicking on the bottom-panel. And then I’ve added a lot of items to the panels. Now it feels like Gnome and I’m happy again.

Source: ubuntu-eee wiki

Fixed mounting error for USB-Sticks

I’ve installed eeeUbuntu with an USB-Stick as described above but if you plug-in an USB-Stick or other USB-Devices which should be mounted the message “Only root can mount“. This is easily fixed by commenting-out a line in /etc/fstab which contains your mount point of your stick:

#/dev/sdb1 /media/cdrom0

Fixed unlock error of screensaver

If you want to lock your screen when the screensaver starts you can’t unlock your screen anymore. This is caused by incorrect group/permissions settings of /sbin/unix_chkpasswd.  To correct this run the following commands as root (as described above) or by sudo:

sudo chown root:shadow /sbin/unix_chkpwd

sudo chmod 2755 /sbin/unix_chkpwd

Source: ubuntu-eee forum

Screen Brightness Settings on Battery

Most of the time I work with screen backlight turned low but when I’ve not typing everything for some short time backlight automatically gets darker and if you are reuse the eeepc the backlight switched to very bright – it doesn’t remember my settings.

All you have to do is to change your settings regarding the screen-saver and the power management.
You can find both of these in the Settings menu.

Begin with starting your screen-saver settings and choose how long it should take before the screen-saver starts.

Then you start the power management and you uncheck the “Mitigate the screen on inactivity” in the “Power adapter” tab.
Then switch to the “Battery voltage” tab an uncheck both the “Mitigate the screen on inactivity” and the “Reduce the brightness backlit”.

When this is done you may also want to change how long it will take for the monitor to sleep in both the “Power adapter” and “Battery voltage” tabs. This is affected by the time of the screen-saver.

Source: ubuntu-eee forum

Conclusion

First of all many thanks to the girls and boys of eeeUbuntu. There are some stuff I did until eeeUbuntu works the way I want it to but all in all it’s running out of the box. The only thing which drive me crazy is to increase battery lifetime. When runnung my eeepc 1000H with eeeUbuntu the maximum battery lifetime (is it the right word?!) is about 3.5 hours – using preinstalled Windows-XP it’s about 5 hours. Using powertop doesn’t solve this issue.

If you know something about that please inform me!

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