Saturday, October 11, 2008

Just a little closer to dual booting my EeePC 901

One of my short-term goals is to dual boot Ubuntu eee with Xandros on the EeePC 901.
I achieved these goals today as part of what I need to do t6owards this end:
1. Formatting and wiping a USB key
This guide clearly outlines how to delete partitions on the USB key. One very important thing to ensure before you try this is to make sure the little switch on the side is set to unlock (in my case this is towards the bottom of the key). If not, you will get a "You cannot write to the partition table" error.
Another thing is that removing one partition (of two) will not delete any of the fils/folders from the undeleted partition.
Howeverm the key can be easily cleaned of unwanted files/folders with the

rm -rf *

2. Booting EeePC from a USB key
Today this worked fine despite the problems I had yesterday. The key thing is that the Boot Device Priority list seems to revert back to the Internal Hard Disk first maybe after every boot. So, if you want to boot from a USB key, you have to hold down F2 while booting which will bring you to the BIOS. Here, move to the Boot tab and move the USB drive to the top position in the Boot Priority list (Of course, your USB key musst be plugged in for this to work.
Now, reboot and you should boot to the key.
However, this still doesn't explain why holding down the ESC key during boot does NOT bring me to a boot menu.
3. Unetbootin
I've used this quite a bit over the last few days and it really does work very well. It allows youu to create a bootable USB key for a wide range of Linux (and PSD) distros. Small distros such as Parted Magic are also included.
A comprehensive guide is provided.
4. Ubuntu Eee on the EeePC
I got Unetbootin to prepare a bootable USB key containing the Ubuntu eee ISO. This boots fine (on a 1 GB key) and gives access to the Live CD version of Ubuntu eee.
Ubuntu looks really great on the EeePC and I can't wait to get it installed.
I couldn't get 3D effects as Compiz wasn;t available in the repos. I'm sure this is only a matter of putting in the correct repos.
Also, when I tried to install Opera 9.6, I got a dependancy error as libqt3-mt was missing. However, I was able to quickly find a Ubuntu version of this (as a deb) and once I installed this, Opera also installed fine.

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