Sunday, October 12, 2008

Yes, we're dual-booting on the EeePC

Once I had managed to get the new partitions on the 16 GB drive, installation of Ubuntu eee from a USB key was relatively easy.
The same precautions are required every time you want to boot from anything other than the internal HDs as the Boot Device Priority setting is not remembered from boot-to-boot.
Interestingly, the /dev/sdb3 partition that wasn't seen initially by Xandros presented no such problems to the Ubuntu installer.
The install went smoothly (without any of the "no-migration-assistant" problems experienced with Intrepid Ibex). Note that I chose to install no bootloader.
he problems started when I tried to configure the /boot/grub/menu.lst of Xandros to take care of the Ubuntu boot. I first tried this from within Xandros. Everything seemed to go well but when I rebooted (after having commented out the "hidden menu" line in /boot/grub/menu.lst), no grub menu appeared no matter how many times I tried it.
I eventually found what the problem was when I stumbled on this guide (see the section titled "Changing the original GRUB menu"). It seems the changes I had made went to /dev/sda2 while the only changes that will have an effect must be made to /dev/sda1. This device can only be accessed from another partition.
So, I had to go into a LiveCD version of Ubuntu eee (from the bootable USB key) and ad this line to the /etc/fstab

/dev/sda1 /media/sda1 ext2 defaults 0 0

Then I created the sda1 folder in /media and mounted it. Then I could cd into that folder and edit /boot/grub/menu.lst.
Having done this, it was also necessary within the same folder to store the vmlinuz and initrd.img files of Ubuntu eee to /boot/ubuntu. It seems that /dev/sda1 views the 16 GB HD as an external drive.
With this done, I now got a grub menu on starting up and could boot into Ubuntu eee by choosing it from the menu.
Ubuntu eee worked fine and, after adding 36 new updates, I was able to install Opera 9.60 (note that this time, libqt3-mt was downloaded and installed by Opera itself rather than me having to do it as was the case with the LiveCD version).
I installed Yakuake from the repos and Livestation from here. Livestation works pretty well bu Yakuake doesn't seem to like being at 50% width as pressing F12 drops down the 50% width consle but a "shadow" console also drops down in the remaining 50%.
I aso tried 3D effects but, although, I got the wobbly windows and emerald themes, I couldn't get the cube to rotate. I have feeling that /etc/X11/xorg.conf might need to be modified.
All in all, however, this was a major stpe forward and looks very promising.

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