Sunday, October 17, 2010

Ubuntu 10.10 clean install on Netbook

My beta version of Ubuntu 10.10 (regularly updated) had been giving some problems, notably high CPU usage very frequently up to where the whole screen would freeze and greyed-out. Another persistent problem was that the top panel very frequently did not appear on boot which meant me having to reboot.
This happened about half the time and a reboot was not guaranteed to get the panel back. So a second reboot might be needed.
Now these two problems had persisted through quite a few "install updates" (i.e. rather than just update, I burned the iso to a usb key and updated from that. However, in every case, I left /home unformatted).
So, this time I did a totally clean install of Ubuntu 10.10 ie the finished article -- no alphas or betas or RCs, but the real deal.
And yes, the previous errors seem to have gone. In the 4 or 5 days since I installed this, not once has the top panel failed to appear. In addition, I have seen nothing approaching the same intensity of high CPU usage as was normal previously.
So, that's very good. My EeePC 901 has become usable again.
However, all was not completely well, as during the boot two strange errors showed up in the boot messages. Nevertheless, neither seemed to affect the actual performance of the OS once it had booted.
In the first, this message very briefly appeared during the boot:
modprobe: Fatal: Could not load /lib/modules/2.6.35-22-generic/modules.dep: no such file or directory

This is a bug which seems well known and easy to fix as described here.
The second seems somewhat more complicated and without a solution, up to now anyway.
In this one, the following message appears many times during the boot
udevd[80]: worker [XXX] did not accept message -1 (Connection refused), kill it
Again it's well known but apparently confined to netbooks as is the case with me. See this thread for more detail.
However, other than making the boot less pretty and perhaps a few seconds longer than needed, it doesn't seem to be creating anything untoward in the performance of the OS.

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