So I wanted to install Ubuntu Eee
, field test it more than the 'live cd', really use it on a daily basis. But I didn't want to blow away the default Xandros OS on my Eeepc. I didn't even want to partition it, just didn't want to touch it. Ubuntu Eee is Ubuntu optimized for the Eee with the Netbook Remix
ui. Ubuntu is a vastly better branch of Debian than Xandros, particularly Xandros on the 901 which has very few packages. But Xandros works there, bug free, so a good fallback. The strength of Ubuntu is the vast number of packages, and the number of people and online support for them. Got a problem? Betcha Ubuntu boards there's someone else with the same. And someone who knows what to do. Ubuntu just continues to impress me with attention to user-friendly detail that previous distros lacked (sometimes it was not the prerogative of the distro to have those details).
In short here's what worked for me, to get Ubuntu Eee onto a card, and leave Xandros untouched:
1. Using an 8g kingston data traveler USB stick, I downloaded Ubuntu Eee and used unetbootin
to create a bootable stick.
2. Power up the Eee, press esc a couple times, choose the usb stick.
3. "try ubuntu without any change to your computer" working? Poke around, things look good? Proceed by clicking the installer.
4. Forward through the setup options (mostly location stuff)
5. At the partitioner, choose 'use entire disk' and select your sd card, in this case SCIS4 "Single Flash Reader"
6. Setup your name and password (there was nothing to migrate)
7. On the final step of the Ubuntu install, click 'advanced' in the lower right corner, make sure "install boot loader" is checked, and select your removable sdd as the target rather than sd0
(which is your Xandros internal os). You're putting grub onto the card, and not the internal drive(s).
I didn't do this first time through and while I could, using grub, boot to either the card or internal, I could do so only with the sd card in
. That's not cool. To get out of that situation (if you do make that mistake), making the Xandros internal default again, you can from Xandros:
grub> find /boot/grub/stage1
(hd0,0) being your internal drive. The point of this entire install is to have an OS on a card, I don't want to have to require to have the card, and I might want to have several.
8. Proceed with the install, prompts you to restart, do so. I had to force power down after the screen went blank, it didn't seem to be able to actually power down. This didn't worry me, and it didn't seem to effect anything.
9. Restart, make sure Xandros comes up without interruption. OK, now let's test the OS on a card:
10. Restart, pressing esc a couple times on boot, select the sd from the bios menu you're presented with. You'll have to do this on every machine boot if you want to use the card, not such a big deal IMHO.
11. So, what we've done is install grub on the card, but there's a problem, when we did so on install the drive (the SD card) was assigned a different address -- it's now the first drive rather than the n
drive. The first entry in the grub list is the entry you want, but if you select it and try and boot it will fail because it wont be able to find the disk. What you do is select the entry in grub, hit e, then select "root (hd3,0)" and hit e again to edit this, change it to (hd0,0). Then hit "b" to boot.
12. To make this change permanent to the card, go to 'accessories' open up terminal -- type 'sudo nano /boot/grub/menu.lst' (or whatever editor you've got) and change all the instances you see of "(hd3,0)" to "(hd0,0)" (no quotes, I'm just sayin). You could also change the timeout option to avoid seeing grub all together, since you're really not using it on the card.
This is great, SD cards are cheap. In fact, if you donate money to Ubuntu Eee, you get a card just like this
. Imagine all computers having SD slots, essentially being OS readers, and you've got a pocketful of OS chips. Why not have a couple OS X's, Microsoft (if you insist), whatever distro you like, just pop in a card, the internal drive could serve as master storage. Love it.footnote:
as decently design as Netbook Remix is, it seems to hog resources, so I switched to XFCE with 'sudo apt-get install xubuntu-desktop', unchecking 'maximus' in the Netbook Remix sessions window, logging out, selecting an xfce session, then doing a 'sudo apt-get --purge remove ume-launcher' since the thing just didn't seem to want to go away, even in the xfce session. Anyhow, much