Install and setup Ubuntu Eee 8.04

Categories: OS Uncategorized

I’m glad to report back saying the attempt to install the Ubuntu Eee 8.04 was a success. Now my Eee 4G is quite a sexy machine. I’ll detail for you the steps involved in the whole installation and tweaks.

1) Install

Head over to the Ubuntu Eee Download and Install page to get the first part done. The steps listed there are pretty easy to do: download the ISO, place it on a USB drive, boot your Eee, and install. I went for the guided installation that took the full disk.

The installation process took about 30 minutes. Of course, the downloading part will depend on your connection speed.

2) Optimizations

After the complete install was done it was the moment for some tweaks:

  1. Apply automatically fixes for the Ubuntu 8.04;
  2. Reduce swappiness and decrease disk writes to relieve strains to the SSD;

3) Hardware

I was a bit surprised that the webcam and mic weren’t working even after all of these steps. But, eventually I got them to work.

  • Fixing the webcam: I restarted the Eee and went to the BIOS. On the hardware components list, for some reason the webcam was turned off. Switch it on and restart.
  • I haven’t been able to completely fix the microphone issue, but I found this tutorial to give a bit of a fix to use the microphone with Skype.

4) Removing and adding programs

My next task was to see how much space I could eliminate to place my favorite productivity programs in. I used some of the tips found here to remove:

  • all packages related to CDs and DVDs;
  • all games;
  • diveintopython;
  • wodim;
  • thunderbird;
  • and I ran localpurge.

With that saved space I felt more comfortable to install some of my favorite apps:

  • Gnome Do (much better not to rely so much on the trackpad);
  • Conduit (awesome to sync stuff to the clouds);
  • KeePassX;
  • Gimp;
  • Empathy (I liked the program so I’m willing to try and use it a bit more).

All of that left me now with 1.1GB of storage. I’m still pretty happy as I also have a couple of other USB drives I use (and the clouds).

5) Visual improvements

7 inches of screen real estate has to be planned out well. So, I spent a bit of extra time to get the best setup possible.

I decided to use only 1 Gnome panel to have as much available space as possible. So, I removed the bottom panel and did the following modifications to the top panel:

  • removed the Menu Bar applet to replace it with the Main Menu applet (now I have only 1 icon instead of 3 pull down menus);
  • removed the User Switcher;
  • added the Window Selector applet so that I could access all of the programs opened (or, ALT+Tab shortcut also works);
  • I also added the Trash, Force Quit, System Monitor, and Workspace Switcher applets.

Now the final adjustments were done for Firefox by installing:

  • Tiny Menu (squeeze full menu options to 1 drop down menu);
  • Stop or reload button (merge both of these buttons);
  • Gears (for offline web data access);
  • Picnik (to grab full Firefox screenshots when I need them);
  • Customize Google (to force https on some Google sites I visit).

For fun”:

  • Ma.gnolia bookmarklet
  • StumbleUpon bar, but I only made visible the Stumble, Thumbs Up, and Thumbs Down icons.

Once everything was installed in Firefox, I right-clicked on an open space of the toolbar area and choose “Customize”. I configured everything to sit nicely in a single toolbar row. It seems a bit cramped now, but for me it works.

One day after the switch, everything is working very well and the Eee seems much more powerful.

See also