Linked by Gary Rennie on Thu 8th Jan 2009 21:06 UTC
Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu To supplement storage space with the initial purchase of the Aspire One (8 GB SSD version), I bought a 16 GB Transcend TS16GBSDHC6 card that integrates nicely into the left card slot. The pre-installed Linux Linpus just wasn't what I needed since I use many networking tools at work and at home. I initially ran Ubuntu 8.041 with the /home partition on the 16 GB SDHC card. I discovered Eeebuntu while searching for information on how to boot and run Linux off a SDHC card. The goal was of multi-boot installations of Ubuntu, with one install specifically loaded with the tools I use at work. The Acer Aspire One BIOS does not 'see' the card, so you can't boot from it using the [F12] startup key (More on the SDHC boot up further in this article).
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Title says it all.

Since the instructions are generic enough for any old -buntu, I'll be giving it a shot with my LXDE-based Jaunty Jackalope setup as soon as I my USB SD card reader arrives (my camera uses xD cards, which are still a no-go with 2.6.28 kernels).

Reply Score: 1

v And in other news....
by gfacer on Thu 8th Jan 2009 21:39 UTC
RE: And in other news....
by merkoth on Thu 8th Jan 2009 22:01 UTC in reply to "And in other news...."
merkoth Member since:

No, most people stick with the OS that came preloaded with the device. It comes with a fully working Linpus install and, ideally, you shouldn't need anymore than that. If you don't like it and are not willing to put some effort to change it, don't buy the device.

Putting XP or OSX into the thing would also require some fiddling around, specially OSX.

Reply Score: 6

RE[2]: And in other news....
by elmimmo on Fri 9th Jan 2009 08:23 UTC in reply to "RE: And in other news...."
elmimmo Member since:

It comes with a fully working Linpus install and, ideally, you shouldn't need anymore than that.

Sure, you should never need OXML support for OpenOffice, or update Firefox and stay with an obsolete and unsecure version, or connect to any sort of LAN and share files, or update the bazillion OS components that have received bug fixes since the Acer Aspire One was released, or pretty much install anything, for that matter.

Should Microsoft be the maker of the version of Linpus that comes with the thing, people would be bashing them with no mercy. And IMHO with all reason.

Note: I have the Linpus version, and will not bother swapping the thing if it requires tweaks and headaches for another that almost works . I am happy with it as is, because it is merely a typewriter to me. Still I did spent more time than I wanted to going through the all the loops required to update Firefox, OO, or to install Skype, Pidgin, Thunderbird and doing other minor tweaks I dare you to ask my parents or non-savy friends to mimic.

The thing, as it comes, is just subpar.

Edited 2009-01-09 08:29 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: And in other news....
by merkoth on Fri 9th Jan 2009 13:31 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: And in other news...."
merkoth Member since:

I don't have one of these devices so I can't tell how good or bad the OS actually is. From what you're telling me, I gather it's kinda sucky.

My point was that changing the OS of a non-standard device like most Netbooks will always prove annoying, no matter the OS you're trying to put in it.

Reply Score: 4

RE[3]: And in other news....
by spiderman on Fri 9th Jan 2009 15:13 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: And in other news...."
spiderman Member since:

Your parents probably couln't install anything on Windows either.
If they can't use synaptic, how do you expect them to install windows software and type a long string of random characters to activate it after registering email and account on the web site? And all that without getting any virus or getting their credit card number stolen in the process?
Linpus linux, JUST LIKE ANY OS, requires learning to be used with full power. It's not any harder than Windows, it really isn't. It is just that you aren't used to it.
Now just try to install Windows on a SDHC and tell me how easy it is...

Edited 2009-01-09 15:18 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: And in other news....
by darknexus on Fri 9th Jan 2009 19:22 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: And in other news...."
darknexus Member since:

At the risk of getting off topic, I'll address your points.

Your parents probably couln't install anything on Windows either.

Well, usually if someone doesn't know how to download Windows software, they go to the store and ask the friendly (or sometimes not so friendly) salesman there what software will do what they want. He gives them a CD, they follow the instructions, which usually amounts to popping the CD into the drive and clicking next a few times. Sometimes it also involves typing a product key which, usually, is printed right on the CD case. Wow, how very, very difficult that was.
If they can't use synaptic

Who says they can't use synaptic? But what happens if the piece of software they need isn't in the package repositories? You apt fans always forget that part. What do they do then? Because they can't go ask the friendly people at Best Buy for help now, and they're not going to know how the hell to install something from source. What if they need the latest to read their co-worker's documents properly--yes, this can and will happen? You really think the average computer user wants to follow the steps of removing the currently installed packages, downloading the tar.gz, extracting it, and then installing the debs or RPMs? Tell me then, which is easier, to do that or to install Openoffice by clicking next a few times, as you would in Windows? Or dragging it to the Applications folder as you would in OS X? Come on now, which is easier?
Package management isn't the issue in and of itself, save for the compatibility issues we're probably all familiar with on occasion. But it's what to do when the repositories don't have what you need that's the issue, and here, I'm afraid, every Linux distro falls flat. There are some promising projects out there for this, but none of them seem to be embraced by any of the major distros.

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: And in other news....
by spiderman on Fri 9th Jan 2009 20:47 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: And in other news...."
spiderman Member since:

But what do you do what the shop doesn't have the software you are looking for? You have to hunt it down in google and create an account and register your email address, go to your mail box, click on the link, watch a few adds, get a registration number, download the package, install it with the installshield if there is one and pray that it is not a virus.
In the worst case, you buy Visual studio to compile it or even patch it to make it work in Windows. You believe this case is extreme? Indeed it is, but it is the same on linpus linux. If the software is not in the repository, you are out of luck, but there are 19000 software on the repository and most people should stick to that. If you are compiling tar.gz you are looking for troubles because you don't have too. The problem with linpus linux is that everything is open and you can actually compile from source, but you don't have to. You can compile in Windows as well, but the people who that for you do that in secret and they don't tell it. The people who do that for linpus linux explain how they do it openly and people think it is more complicated than on Windows, but it is not really. In Windows, compiling software is a big big big mess. You just don't see it. If you don't want to do it, just don't do it!
In linpus linus, the way you install software is via synaptic. In Windows, you click next next next and enter registration keys. I find the linpus way way easier.
The compatibility issue is a non-issue. Mac OS X and Windows are not compatible. Windows and linpus linux are not compatible, although wine can run windows software. Linpus linux is still compatible with linpux linux the same way MacOS X is compatible with MacOS X. Different versions of MS Office are not even compatible with each other! You will find that there are enough linpus software to do pretty much whatever you can do on Windows with a netbook. And if the latest beta of is not in the repo, it is not a big deal really. Only developers need to compile the betas and they usually know how to do it or they can follow the instructions if they want to.

Also, your parents really shouldn't try to install ubuntu on SDHC. This article is not for them. They should stick to what was compiled for them like they do on Windows.

Edited 2009-01-09 21:04 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: And in other news....
by elmimmo on Sun 11th Jan 2009 09:27 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: And in other news...."
elmimmo Member since:

Your parents probably couln't install anything on Windows either.
If they can't use synaptic

Have you even tried the thing?

They can pretty well install Windows software (downloading and doubleclicking a Setup.whatever?)or browse and install through a software repository (again, double clicking on a list of names and descriptions?).

Unless, that is, they cannot identify which package format they can download, or have no access to a package manager with access to a software repository, which is how Linpus on the One comes.

Should they be willing to spend time browsing the internet (no), to go round that, when the thing is sold as "easier than the average", and finally get access to a package manager (with a hideous UI), they will get a nice surprise when many of the things do not even install, let alone when they start breaking their desktop and have to reluctantly reach their recovery CD and resign to a castrated system that makes adapting it to one's needs more difficult instead of simpler (and I would not call being able to share files or to open Word docs a thing for techies).

Edited 2009-01-11 09:29 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE: And in other news....
by Tuishimi on Thu 8th Jan 2009 23:54 UTC in reply to "And in other news...."
Tuishimi Member since:

The guy who wrote the article is obviously an OS and hardware enthusiast who loves the Small, simple hardware, and also wants to use it for something more advanced that a typical user would care about.

What he did was undertake a journey to install a different distribution of linux with his own tweaks for work purposes, and he cared enough to document the process for others who might also be so inclined...

Thank goodness for people who do these things. I recently wanted to tweak my kernel and it really helped to find other people who had done the same thing... I was able to pop in, set the exact flags I needed without guessing, build it and now I am running my custom kernel, and it is sweet.

So thanks to all the people out there who experiment and document.

Reply Score: 6

RE: And in other news....
by Soulbender on Fri 9th Jan 2009 09:01 UTC in reply to "And in other news...."
Soulbender Member since:

And you know, of course, that his particular needs would be met by an XP or OSX installation?
Well, obviously not OSX since there's no Aspire One with OSX...

Reply Score: 2

RE: And in other news....
by DittoBox on Fri 9th Jan 2009 19:41 UTC in reply to "And in other news...."
DittoBox Member since:

I bought a Dell Mini 9 in October with Ubuntu preloaded. Recently I downloaded the standard x86 8.10 ISO, used the USB Ubuntu installer (easy installation via synaptic) and installed ubuntu from a USB stick I had laying around (didn't even have to remove anything from the stick) All but the speakers worked entirely out of the box. I only had to add a single line to the bottom of a config file to get the speakers working (other audio was fine).

Windows on laptops typically requires tracking down and installing drivers, waiting an hour or more for windows update to install the latest SP and other updates. With this laptop it would have required an optical drive for initial installation.

Even the compositor worked straight away, and quite well!

Had it not been for the speakers not working and the need to disable swap, this would have been smoother and easier than even doing an OS X install. What's more is that OS X devs have specific hardware they're tailoring too, Ubuntu devs don't.

Well done I say.

Reply Score: 3

Possible initrd problems during update ?
by gelendir on Thu 8th Jan 2009 22:03 UTC
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Nice article !

I had a similar situation with an old computer where I had an installation on a USB key but the BIOS couldn't boot from USB. Since there was already a linux installation on the internal hard drive, I pretty much did the same thing as you did for your SDHC card : copied the kernel and initrd to the internal hard disk, modified grub, etc.

However, I soon realised that this technique would cause problems if ever the kernel were updated through apt-get, since the new kernel would be put in the /boot of the USB key, and the kernel on the internal hard drive would stay untouched. Solution is simple enough, copy over the new kernel and initrd each time it gets updated. Although it would be nice if there was a way to automate this instead of having to do it each time.

Reply Score: 1

Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:

Why couldn't you just create a soft link from the location of the kernel on your flash, to the location on the internal hard drive? Or am I missing something?

Reply Score: 1

gelendir Member since:

Because in that case the kernel would either be on the flash or on the internal hard drive. If I needed only to plug the usb key into that single computer, then it would be fine. But I needed to use the USB key as a live on more than one computer.

Reply Score: 1

OSNews still doesnât get utf-8
by Beta on Fri 9th Jan 2009 00:15 UTC
Member since:

If you’re going to label pages with charset=utf-8, you better make sure the content is utf-8 - there are encoding problems throughout the article.

‘then 6 – 8 years’
‘"wear leveling" algorithms’
‘Edit this one with the “uuids” of the SDHC device’

Reply Score: 5

Nice article
by thjayo on Fri 9th Jan 2009 02:34 UTC
Member since:

I really liked it, although I own an EeePC, really liked the tweaking and the ideas, and the way the article was written. Might be of future use.
A bit off-topic, but I feel the quality of OSnews' articles got better with the whole 'read more' thing, and commentaries by contributors and editors. I started enjoying OSnews again in a way I haven't in a long time. My congrats!

Sorry for my english, not a native. ;)

Reply Score: 1

.. To add
by Piranha on Fri 9th Jan 2009 02:51 UTC
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Just needed to add...

With MLC and SLC, the memory chips themselves are identical. It's the hardware around it and how it writes data to the chip that differs. SLC stores 1 state (or bit) per cell (1 or a 0). With MLC, it can be stored as 00,11,01,10 (or 2 bits per cell). This causes reads AND writes to take longer on the MLC than the SLC. Eventually all memory chips will likely be MLC, as SLC is less efficient - half the yield for the same memory.

And for the article.. For the [more] techy people out there, the author is simply pointing grub that's on the internal disk to the SDHC card. So it's not really 'truly' booting off the SDHC card, but you're running your distro off the card.

I have an ASPIRE ONE and really regret Acer not putting that functionality in it. That really sucks.

Reply Score: 1

RE: .. To add
by bnolsen on Sat 10th Jan 2009 18:35 UTC in reply to ".. To add"
bnolsen Member since:

I ended up accidentally trashing the linpus by doing a yum update. After that I just put archlinux on the internal drive. Been pretty happy with Arch & xfce4. I've never been a fan of debian based distros.

The problem with built in distros being too many custom things and additionall linpus is based on a soon to be unsupported version of fedora.

I hope they do add the ability to default boot off the sd card though. Although for testing I'll normally use a usb stick.

Reply Score: 2

by vermaden on Fri 9th Jan 2009 13:06 UTC
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Next in queue:



Edited 2009-01-09 13:06 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE: *buntu
by spikeb on Sat 10th Jan 2009 21:59 UTC in reply to "*buntu"
spikeb Member since:

mostly, except the dell mini runs UNR, no need for another buntu for it.

Reply Score: 2

by spikeb on Sat 10th Jan 2009 21:58 UTC
Member since:

both eeebuntu and easypeasy suck...both of them change the default set of apps completely willy nilly, and eeebuntu NBR is a complete mishmashed mess of the netbook interface AND the normal interface at the same time. easypeasy was good when it was ubuntu-eee, all downhill since. Wish UNR worked better on the eee, would rather use that than these pieces of turd. as far as what i am using? going to stick with the old version of ubuntu-eee/easypeasy til jaunty comes out with UNR integrated.

Edited 2009-01-10 22:01 UTC

Reply Score: 2