Optimized netbook distro (eee ones)

Discussions about Linux installation and configuration on Samsung laptops
FabriceV
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Optimized netbook distro (eee ones)

Postby FabriceV » 15/03/2009, 19:23

Hello,

After Fedora and a patched Ubuntu (thanks to voRia), I have tested eeebuntu.

Good
- Initial speed. Approximately 65s to the functional desktop rather than the 95s with the Ubuntu patched or 85s with Fedora.
- repository that allows patches.
- an applet to see the state of numslock, number and sreenlock.
- all multimedia, java and so one are included.

Bad
The hardware support is weak apart from the "normal":
- There are sound problems: Microphone and management of headphone do not work.
- Apparently the hard drive excessive load is not corrected.
- Keyboard : Fn F2 (battery state) -F4 (external screen) - F5 (brightness) -F8 (select power) -F9 (wifi on/off) -F12 (scroll lock), brightness up and down do not work.
- The remix interface is really pretty, however does not really facilitate the usage (does not replace completely normal desktop - thus I have used the lean version)

Normally Easy Peasy (an other eee distro) does not support better (older kernel) the NC10. Claim they want to be more generalist for the next version, but not so much info. They possibly wait for Jaunty because their announcement of feature are just announcement of Jaunty's ones.

The question to voRia
Is there an easy solution to correct such kind of distro (which have a special kernel) so that we can have both speed and perfect support? They have developed a software (eeebuntu EeeConfigure) to implement various scripts and patches for few manufacturers (acer, asus...) and models. I am not a programmer and do not know whether or not that can facilitate the work.

Regards.

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voRia
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RE: Optimized netbook distro (eee ones)

Postby voRia » 16/03/2009, 15:29

I have not tried any of these distros personally, and I will never do, probably.
I don't like them, they try to do all the same things.
IMHO it would be better to focus on improving the main one, Ubuntu, instead of creating a whole new distro every time an issue needs to be fixed.
I lost the count of all the Ubuntu derivated distros out there.

Anyway, to speed up your Ubuntu I think you may have to rebuild the actual kernel (for keeping all the fixes for the NC10) with all the patches/differences from the custom kernels of those distros merged in it. Definitely not a fast thing to do.
Besides that, you may want to remove not needed services from being started on boot (for example, I disabled the bluetooth service because I rarely use it. When I need it, I manually start it).
Last edited by voRia on 18/03/2009, 1:13, edited 1 time in total.
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FabriceV
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RE: Optimized netbook distro (eee ones)

Postby FabriceV » 16/03/2009, 16:04

Thanks for your answer.
I have post a message on eeebuntu forum concerning the packages and scripts you have done. They have seemed unaware of your work. They have answered that the eeekernel is an Ubuntu kernel, that uneeded support has been removed and extra support for the hardware added. They are good probabilities that your work can be applied to the eeebuntu kernel. So they will test... And will try to add support of samsung NC10...
Regards.

FabriceV
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RE: Optimized netbook distro (eee ones)

Postby FabriceV » 20/03/2009, 11:45

Hello,
Just to share my experiences...

Minimal install
I have tested to install Ubuntu with the alternative cd and minimal Ubuntu install tutorial (links elsewhere into this forum). Well... The process is long and the gain strangely minimal compare to the results obtained by distrowatch. I gain approximately 10s. It's clear that I let all the services and features that is possible to use (print, bluethooth...).

Uninstall the maximum
I have uninstall everything I can. Unfortunately there are a lot, but really a lot of dependencies.... sometimes extremely strange... but they are. However it is possible to erase a lot of things (you can gain few hundreds without any problems (e.g. look at the scim and foreign language, fonts...), and more than 1Go depending on your interest (keep or not keep openoffice and so on...). I also have deactivate services I do not use. I gain an huge amount of space (but who care with an hard drive, but not so much speed (inferior to 10s). Because NC10 has an hard drive, this is interesting only to those who want to install a SSD instead.

Eeebuntu
Provide out of the box a light and really faster boot (about 30s faster). Take care you can gain a significant additionnal space (language, cd programs and libraries, printer drivers and so on...). But you have to patch applying the info of the ubuntu wiki and part of the script voRia gently gave us to support extended keyboard. Thus it is a matter of choice. Slower Ubuntu with full support or faster eeebuntu with incomplete support.

Dedicated CD
Alain57 planned to release an Ubuntu version specialized to the NC10. No recent news has been furnished on the current state of advancement. Supposed he waits for the final Jaunty.
http://nc10ubuntu.tout57.fr/

Regards

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RE: Optimized netbook distro (eee ones)

Postby voRia » 20/03/2009, 14:55

Thanks for the informations.
I'm currently testing jaunty alpha6 on a second partition and its boot time is really faster than the intrepid one. Test it yourself if you are interested :)

For how things are going on, I think jaunty will be a great distro for the NC10, so no need for all those derivative distros.
Just my opinion however :P
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RE: Optimized netbook distro (eee ones)

Postby FabriceV » 21/03/2009, 5:35

Hello,
I agree with you. I effectively end my tests. It also was the occasion to test other distributions and better know both the NC10 and linux.
In my point of view, people can wait for Ubuntu Jaunty or Fedora 11. Both of them has the goal to reduce the boot time. I suppose Fedora boot time (with the experience of the Moblin project) will outclass Ubuntu, but people has to understand that usability of Ubuntu is sometimes payed by problems while technology of fedora is payed by a lesser ergonomy. A complementary but expensive solution is to install an SSD hard drive.
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FabriceV
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RE: Optimized netbook distro (eee ones)

Postby FabriceV » 21/06/2009, 14:52

Today, I does not use minimal install. A gnome Jaunty minimal can boot about 10s faster than a normal jaunty. You will gain more when you use alternative to gdm and so one. This result is close to those of Distrowatch testing minimal intrepid version. The major interest of a minimal Ubuntu distro is rather first disk space and second memory. During the installation process you can choose between "all" and "just needed" drivers. However, a lot of useless drivers are still present. I have not enough knowledge to select what librairies to install or remove once minimal ubuntu is installed.
Thus, that was my starting approach. Take care I do not really know what to select. I have given information though the web.

Base system
Install using the alternate CD (loot at tutorials, nothing special. No pmcia, minimum drivers)
Update of the system:
$ sudo apt-get update
$ sudo apt-get dist-upgrade

Then install the following...

BASE
- Gnome Environment
-- xorg gdm gnome-session gnome-menus gnome-panel gnome-applets gnome-volume-manager metacity nautilus
- Base applications (not sure at all...)
-- xterm gksu menu gnome-utils gnome-system-tools libgnomevfs2-extra smbfs
- Artwork
-- ubuntu-artwork usplash gnome-themes compiz
- Application management
-- synaptic gdebi-core logrotate
-- gnome-app-install app-install-data-commercial update-manager update-notifier
- Users
-- fast-user-switch-applet gdm-guest-session

Boot into your new system
$ sudo reboot

MATERIALS
- Power suport
-- acpi-support gnome-power-manager powernowd
- Networking and bluetooth (wifi not out of the box)
-- network-manager-gnome atl2-source
- Sound (did not test all setting)
-- NONE
- Webcam
-- OK-out-of-the-box
- HD or SSD
-- OK-out-of-the-box
- Touchpad (no personnal problem, no jerky movements at the opposite of standard jaunty)
-- OK-out-of-the-box
- USB
-- OK-out-of-the-box
- SD card reader
-- OK-out-of-the-box
- Printing (did not test, not sure at all)
-- cupsys cupsys-bsd cupsys-client cupsys-common cupsys-driver-gutenprint
-- the-driver-of-your-printer(?)

After, that, you can remove brasero and so on, and try to optimize settings, install prelink, preload...
Good experimentation. I suppose it is not so hard to build a minimal iso adapted to the NC10. When SSD are cheaper and if I buy one, I will possibly try to finalize the approach. You can share experience or give corrections. Thanks.
Last edited by FabriceV on 21/06/2009, 17:38, edited 1 time in total.

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Cimi
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RE: Optimized netbook distro (eee ones)

Postby Cimi » 08/07/2009, 0:39

95s for ubuntu?!?!? I am into GDM in 18seconds...
Last edited by Cimi on 08/07/2009, 0:47, edited 1 time in total.

FabriceV
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RE: Optimized netbook distro (eee ones)

Postby FabriceV » 09/07/2009, 8:15

Look at the date... The first post relates to Intrepid, standard install, and standard config. I lost few seconds to login, but all launching times (into full desktop, not just GDM) compare each others. Anyway, Ubuntu Jaunty's boot is proportionnaly fast in netbook (about 45-50s) compare to my PC.


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