UNR, revisited.

One of our netbooks needed rebuilding recently, and since we’ve not documented the installation procedure we used, now seems like a good time. We’ve been running our Asus EEE 901s on Ubuntu Netbook Remix 9.04 (UNR), since the supplied Xandros is a little unfamiliar and limited for our needs. It’s mostly like normal Gnome-based Ubuntu except that it fixes some issues specific to netbooks, e.g. the small screen. There are similar distributions available – EasyPeasy and Moblin for instance, but we’ve been using UNR.

First of all, we’ll need to prepare some installation media, and since the 901 doesn’t come with a CD/DVD-ROM drive, and doesn’t boot from it’s SD-card slot, we used a USB pen-drive. The installation image is  948MB, so a 1GB or more USB drive will be needed – we used a 4GB. To put the image on the pendrive, we followed these instructions on an existing Ubuntu installation. Once you’ve created your installation USB-drive, you should find that when you plug the USB-drive into the Asus netbook and power up, you get the start of the Ubuntu installation sequence.  The important thing with the installation (and why we’re rebuilding our 901 installation here) is that the solid-state disk in the 901 is in fact 2 physical drives – a faster 4GB and slightly slower 16GB so to get the best use out of it and give enough space for updates, we deleted all the existing partitions in the ‘manual’ section of the partition editor, then set the partitions like this:

4GB disk:
mounted as /
formatted as ext3

16 GB disk:
4GB mounted as /usr
11GB mounted as /home
– both formatted as ext3
1GB swap space

Once you have UNR installed, it’s time for some software. Here’s a short list of the packages we need to get, via synaptic, apt-get or dpkg :

asterisk, desktop-switcher, ekiga, ffmpeg, filezilla, flashplugin-nonfree, ihu, iperf, ipscan, iwscanner, mjpg-streamer, mozilla-plugin-vlc, openssh-server, padevchooser, speex, sun-java6-jre, sun-java6-plugin, twinkle, ubuntu-restricted-extras, usb-imagewriter, vlc, vlc-plugin-pulse, x264, xampp.