Ubuntu Netbook Remix 9.10

If you have come here looking for a way to install Skype, visit this post instead.

By sheer coincidence, I got my hands on an Asus EeePC just in time for the Ubuntu 9.10 release. Given the state of Windows XP on it, I was left with no option but to do a clean install of UNR.

Before

The netbook was virus infected and was crashing as soon as it booted. Not even the safe mode command prompt only worked! So I decided to wipe the factory installed Windows XP and install UNR instead. It did take a bit of time to find out what to be downloaded and how to install.

The guide at https://wiki.ubuntu.com/UNR/Installation/Easy suggests that the img file be downloaded, but there is no img file for the Karmic release.

But when I landed on this page, then things got rolling from there.

Prerequisites for installing using Windows

  1. Download UNetbootin. No installation needed
  2. Download the UNR iso. Use the torrent file if possible.
  3. Have a USB stick handy
  4. Run UNetBootin and create a bootable flash drive.
  5. You are ready!

Installing UNR

  1. Insert the USB disk into EeePC
  2. Press ESC when the EeePC splash screen comes
  3. Select the USB disk to boot
  4. Ubuntu boots up
    1. This was actually useful as I was able to back up the data on the netbook.
  5. You can then click on the “Install Ubuntu 9.10” icon to begin the pretty straight forward installation.

Mini pictorial review

The new interface if well thought out, but a few applications are still too big. Either they waste screen real estate or they have some dialogs that just do not fit into the tiny screen.

The favorites on the home view

The favorites on the home view

NTFS partition auto detected

NTFS partition auto detected

Painful to scroll using the tiny scrollbars

Painful to scroll using the tiny scrollbars

Installing Skype was OK. But not available in repository :(

Installing Skype was OK. But not available in repository 🙁

The new volume notification looks good. Unfortunately other notifications were been shown too low.

The new volume notification looks good. Unfortunately other notifications were been shown too low.

Firefox was pretty usable.

Firefox was pretty usable.

OOWriter on the other hand did not fit properly.

OOWriter on the other hand did not fit properly.

The inbuild webcam was detected. Above is cheese running with 2 effects on. Skype also had mo problems with the webcam.

The inbuilt webcam was detected. Above is cheese running with 2 effects on. Skype had no problems as well.

Movie Player did not come up in maximized state. A restore and maximize fixed the issue, temporarily.

Movie Player did not come up in maximized state. A restore and maximize fixed the issue, temporarily.

The splash screen mentions the blue (?) button on the top of the screen, which was missing.

The splash screen mentions the blue (?) button on the top of teh screen, which was missing.

Help screen had some problems filling the available space

Help screen had some problems filling the available space

Help was not of much help.

Help was not of much help.

Same search on Google. The first link fixed the issue.

Same search on Google. The first link fixed the issue.

Final Thoughts

Although I have mostly highlighted deficiencies above, the truth is that it is a rock solid OS. I am very pleased with the polish that Ubuntu in general and particularly UNR has. The netbook feels fast and light. But the real test is when my sis uses it. Hope she leaves a comment soon.

4 comments

  1. haha.. loved the last line! i am putting UNR to test!!

    let me give the comment in parts.

    part 1 : am scared. first of all it does not have microsoft office, and open office is giving problems! hope i find it fast and light too!

    part 2: after i get the netbook. 🙂

  2. Does the EeePC have a cd-rom drive? My Acer Timeline doesn’t have one and the UNetbootin based installer gave me immense amount of grief for that. After two or three failed tries, I discovered that Ubuntu now has an official tool to create USB installers: the usb-creator. It needs Linux to run, which I have, and works flawlessly.

    So in summary: if you have to do a USB install on a CD-ROM free machine, use usb-creator.

    1. No, EeePC does not have a CD drive. I used a 4GB USB Stick to install UNR. UNetbootin on Windows 7 worked fine. I think it had some issues with the format of the drive. Once I formated is as FAT32 everything worked.

      So in summary: use what works for you ;).
      Or usb-creator on Linux, UNetbootin on Windows

  3. Hi I have an asus pc900 12G who came with XP. I clean installed UNR, but wondering. Which drive to put it on? The 4gb or the 8 gb?
    I figured when I dowload the updates the 4gb migt not be enough anymore? I just can’t figure the disk partition part.

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