Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Installing Ubuntu 8.10 on my EeePC 701...

Got myself a 16GB class 4 SDHC card and decided to upgrade my EeePC 701 with the latest version of Ubuntu (8.10 Intrepid).

I used a DVD drive to install Ubuntu on my EeePC and almost everything worked OOTB (out of the box) with the exception of wifi and a shutting down problem.

To fix the first problem, I disabled the "Support for Atheros 802.11 wireless LAN cards" on Hardware Drivers, and rebooted.

Then, I installed the backports modules which has a working wifi driver by typing the following in a terminal shell:

sudo apt-get install linux-backports-modules-intrepid-generic

Before anyone asks... Yes, I had to do this with a wired internet connection.

To solve the shutdown problem, all I had to do was to edit the "halt" file at "/etc/default/" and add in "rmmod snd-hda-intel" on the last line of the file.

This basically gets the whole computer working as everything else is already supported by Ubuntu.

To enhance the computer, I also installed a utility called Eee Control. The latest version as of this writing is v0.8.3. You can get this utility at URL

This utility allows you to control the switching on/off of certain components like wifi, camera, etc. You can also overclock or underclock the EeePC with the option to auto powersave when your EeePC runs off batteries regardless of the clock speed when plugged to the wall.

To increase the lifespan of the SSD (or SDHC card in my case), we can reduce the frequency of writes to the media by adding the following into the "/etc/fstab":

tmpfs /var/tmp tmpfs noatime 0 0
tmpfs /tmp tmpfs noatime 0 0

You can also add the "noatime" to the other medias that Ubuntu accesses.

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