HOWTO : Ubuntu 9.04 Desktop on Solid State Disk (SSD)

In my opinion, logs files of Linux is almost useless on desktop usage. If you agree with me, you can make your Linux box runs faster than before. Basically, you should have 1GB RAM or more.

Step A :

sudo nano /etc/fstab

Append the following lines to /etc/fstab

tmpfs /tmp tmpfs noexec,defaults,noatime 0 0
tmpfs /var/tmp tmpfs noexec,defaults,noatime 0 0

sudo mount -a

If there is no error, you can reboot your system after completed all the steps mentioned here.

Step B :

sudo nano /etc/sysctl.conf

Append the following line to /etc/sysctl.conf

vm.swappiness=1

Step C :
Firefox puts its cache in your home partition. By moving this cache in RAM you can speed up Firefox and reduce disk writes. Complete the previous tweak to mount /tmp in RAM, and you can put the cache there as well.

Open about:config in Firefox. Right click in an open area and create a new string value called browser.cache.disk.parent_directory. Set the value to /tmp.

Step D :

Add the following line at the end of /boot/grub/menu.lst of kernel tab.

elevator=noop

Reboot your system and you will experience the performance.

By the way, if you want to install Ubuntu Netbook Remix 9.04 to ASUS Eee PC 701, you will encounter lagging on the operation. You may consider to install the following version namely Lambda Netbook Remix at Unofficial Ubuntu Hack! which is in Traditional Chinese by default. However, you can choose to install it in English too. After the installation, you can apply the captioned settings to improve the life of the SSD and increase the performance of your Eee PC 701.

Remarks :
If you do not have any SSD, you can also tune your system by following Step A to C.

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Let’s surf internet everywhere

The price of 3G/3.5G modem and data plan are dropping. The minimum monthly service charge is $98-HK ($1-US = $7.8-HK) and the maximum charge is $188-HK for unlimited usage. The 3G modem is free of charge, surprise? However, you need to sign a contract from 18 to 24 months.

I bought a 3G wireless router, Edimax 3G-6200Wg, for sharing my 3.5G modem (Huawei E180). The turbo mode can increase the strength of wireless signal a lot although it is a IEEE 802.11 b/g router.

I tested it with Lenovo ThinkPad X61 and X200 as well as some other wireless network interfaces. When the router is enabled the function of WMM, X61 and X200 cannot associated with the router via Ubuntu 8.10 and 9.04. When it is disabled, all ThinkPads connected to the router flawlessly. Later learned that it is the bug of the Intel wireless card Linux driver/firmware. The bug has been reported to Intel.

In addition, you can use Huawei 3G modem flawlessly in Ubuntu 9.04 with a little bit of setting at the Network Manager.

By the way, I provide the APN of Hong Kong 3G data plan providers here for your quick reference.

3 HK : ipc.three.com.hk or mobile.three.com.hk (for some data card)
Smartone : internet
PCCW : pccw
CSL : HKCSL

The different between Ubuntu Desktop, Alternate CD and server CD

Newbies of Ubuntu/Kubuntu/Edubuntu will be confused by the name of her official released CDs – Desktop Live CD, Alternate CD and Server CD. Why she makes these different CDs?

Desktop Live CD
Live CD allows user to boot it from CD-ROM and experience the power of Linux. Live CD is a complete operating system that running from CD. You can use it for testing hardwares and/or softwares compatibilty. You can use it to taste the new version of the distribution. You can use it for internet kiosks or libraries.

You can install any software on the Live CD. Once you reboot or switch off, the change will be lost. Ubuntu Desktop Live CD provides the most common features to end-users, especially for newcomers. It is very easy to use and/or install. If you have no experience in Linux, you can install Ubuntu via the Live CD in a few steps. You can choose the default setting if you are in doubt. It requires more memory compare with Alternate CD.

In addition, you can install Ubuntu by Live CD on a Windows system via Wubi. Wubi allows you to install Ubuntu in Windows system as a file. You can uninstall it just like other Windows softwares.

Alternate CD
Unlike Live CD, Alternate CD is a text mode installer. It requires an experienced Linux user to operate. It provides more drivers, such as FakeRAID, software RAID and some other drivers and features. You can also choose LVM and encrytped directory too. It is more flexible and powerful compare with Live CD. The final product is a graphical desktop environment. It can install for a lesser memory machine, thanks to the text mode installer.

Server CD
It is a text mode installer and similar to Alternate CD. You can choose some common servers to install, such as LAMP, mail server, DNS, SQL server and File Server. The servers that you have chosen are almost configured but some of them need to be tuned for different usage. It is targeted to experienced Linux users. The final product is a command line environment.

Conclusion
Ubuntu makes 3 different CDs in order to keep it fit in a 700MB CD and targeted to different users. Although it may cause confusion, it is a good idea for different market and user.

HOWTO : Convert existing ext3 to ext4

According to the current issue (issue #22, Page 26 “Letters”) Full Circle Magazine at http://www.fullcirclemagazine.org, we can convert the existing ext3 to ext4 by the following command. However, I did not try it yet until the release of Ubuntu 9.04.

tune2fs -O extents,uninit_bg,dir_index /dev/DEV

ext4 is running fast and stable under Ubuntu 9.04 Alpha. I have installed it on a AData 300 Series 64GB Solid State Drive (SSD, MLC) with no problem. However, the BIOS should not select Advanced Host Controller Interface (AHCI). According to some source, ext4 is also good for SSD usage.

HOWTO : Ubuntu eee on ASUS Eee PC 701

Ubuntu eee comes with Netbook Remix and it is very user-friendly. I installed Ubuntu eee on my ASUS Eee PC 701 and all the function keys are workable. The speaker, mic, webcam and wireless work flawlessly.

Now, I want to do some tweaking on my Ubuntu eee box.

Step 0 :
Install the Ubuntu eee on your Es accordingly. The installation is quiet straight forward.

Step 1 :
sudo nano /boot/grub/menu.lst

add “elevator=noop” at the end of the kernel tag.

Step 2 :
sudo nano /etc/fstab

add “noatime” at the following line (the content may be different to me) :
UUID=b151a69-....1d865 / ext3 noatime,relatime,errors=remount-ro 0 1

Step 3 :
add the following lines at the end of /etc/fstab.

tmpfs /var/log/apt tmpfs defaults 0 0
tmpfs /var/log tmpfs defaults 0 0
tmpfs /tmp tmpfs defaults 0 0
tmpfs /var/tmp tmpfs defaults 0 0

Step 4 :
Make it like this.

Just only 5 steps to make your Es working flawlessly and smoothly.

Enjoy!

Ubuntu 8.04.1 LTS on Eee PC 701 & 900

Install Ubuntu 8.04.1 on ASUS Eee PC as is. The installation is smooth and simple.

No matter you have Eee PC 701 or 900, the tweak on them is similar or the same.

Since the wireless driver from Ubuntu 8.04.1 does not work on Eee PC, you should disable the two entries at “System” – “Hardware driver” before going ahead.

Install the following packages at the terminal and make sure you are connected to the internet via ethernet cable :
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade
sudo apt-get install build-essential
sudo apt-get install linux-headers-`uname -r`

For Eee PC 701 :
wget http://samiux.volospin.com/eeepc/ubuntu-8.04.1-eeetweak-eeepc701-1.0.sh.tar.gz
tar -xvzf ubuntu-8.04.1-eeetweak-eeepc701-1.0.sh.tar.gz
sudo chmod +x ubuntu-8.04.1-eeetweak-eeepc701-1.0.sh
sudo ./ ubuntu-8.04.1-eeetweak-eeepc701-1.0.sh

For Eee PC 900 :
wget http://samiux.volospin.com/eeepc/ubuntu-8.04.1-eeetweak-eeepc900-1.0.sh.tar.gz
tar -xvzf ubuntu-8.04.1-eeetweak-eeepc900-1.0.sh.tar.gz
sudo chmod +x ubuntu-8.04.1-eeetweak-eeepc900-1.0.sh
sudo ./ ubuntu-8.04.1-eeetweak-eeepc900-1.0.sh

Make sure you run the script only ONCE. If you are making of mistake, you should re-install your copy of Ubuntu 8.04.1 before running the script again.

To tweak the boot up speed, you just need to edit the /boot/grub/menu.lst and add the following to the end of “kernel” tag :
clocksource=hpet

By the way, the script do nothing on the webcam and microphone.

Easy to Learn, Easy to Work, Easy to Play with Ubuntu 8.04.1!!!

Big Buck Bunny – Open Movie

Open movie website :

http://www.bigbuckbunny.org/