Sunday, January 17, 2010

Ubuntu Lucid Lynx on EeePC 901

Lucid Lynx alpha 2 came ou a couple of days ago so I tried it out on my (aging) EeePC 901.
Downloaded the Netbook live CD from this page, made a Live USB with Unetbootin and clean-installed but without reformatting my /home.
Install was absolutely trouble-free and took about 25 minutes.
Of course, Lucid uses Grub2 which doesn't (as yet) really facilitate multibooting (if you do a lot of experimentation and boot from usb keys occasionally) so I'm probably going to go back to Grub 1 as I did in Karmic.
During the install I had selected automatic login but the need to key in my keyring password before getting a wifi connection slowed down the boot. However, this is easy to remove as detailed here.
I have been waiting a long time for the promised fast boot for Lucid (I had previously expected it for Karmic but was disappointed). I had read that booting from solid-state drives should be less than 10 seconds.
Well, I'm booting here from an SSD and the boot takes 41 seconds (the boot does include wifi connection and launching of Yakuake and Avant-Window-Manager -- essential accessories for me).
This is slower than Snow Leopard on my MacBook which boots in 35 seconds. But still, it's moving in the right direction.
After cleaning up the drives (as posted here), there remains 2.3 GB on my root directory.
One thing that I don't like is that notifications appear just a little too low down on the screen instead of being almost in the upper right hand corner. This is a known bug and showed up too in Karmic Beta. However, this was easily removed by just installing this small .deb file as I posted earlier.
Unfortunately, this doesn't work on Lucid and I can't find any other fix. So, just have to wait.
A new version of Avant-Window-Navigator (0.3.9) is available in the repos and works well. I had posted some negative comments about an earlier version of this upgrade but this is a huge improvement.
What I didn't like before was that you could only use AWN if all the other windows on the Desktop were minimized. Now, there's more options including on to have no visible dock at all but still you can have icon reflections where the dock should be. This nicely overcomes my earlier problem and looks super-cool.
However, I still can get applets to work and my favorite Dialect Applet won't install as before.
As mentioned, I had purposely chosen the Netbook Edition iso (note that this is NOT the NetBook Remix which seems more like something for kids). I have problems using Ubuntu on my EeePC 901 in that occasionally the bottom part of some windows, which may contain important buttons, are inaccessible. Up to now I haven't found the Netbook Edition to be a huge improvement although I'm willing to give it some more time to prove itself.
All-in-all this Alpha 2 of Lucid seems stable enough and I haven't had any crashes of significance.
Would like to see it booting very much faster, though.

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