Eee 4G (701) Software Mods (Ubuntu)

Files after modification:

Ubuntu / Xubuntu 8.10

Merge the 2 default partitions (sda1 & sda2)
  • Remove all other media (SD cards / USB drives) just in case.
  • Burn a gparted (Gnome Partition Editor) CD or USB drive and boot with it.
  • Delete partition sda2.
  • Extend partition sda1 into the free space.
  • Apply changes.

I'd keep the 3rd and 4th partitions just in case you want to update the BIOS with them, although, there are other methods available.

Create "/home" and "swap" partitions on a pendrive

(* only if you have a USB pen drive installed internally)
This can be done on any Linux PC previously to installing Ubuntu

  • Insert USB pendrive into USB port
  • run gparted (Gnome Partition Editor)
  • Work out how much swap is needed - double your RAM size as rule of thumb
  • Create first partition as "ext2" leaving space for "swap"
  • Create "swap" partition
  • Format first partition
Install Ubuntu / Xubuntu 8.10 from CD or USB drive

After installation, plug in an Ethernet cable (only Ethernet works by default) and install all updates and reboot since there will be a new kernel installed. Remember to use the pendrive's swap partition. This will be very slow at hibernating, but at least it gives us the option!

Change the rootfs options

This will stop a lot of writes to the SSD with access time updates. See "Post Install."

There are also some more tweaks that can be done to optimise the SSD performance and longevity.

Make it shutdown properly

A sound module gets left behind stopping a complete shutdown.

Get the WiFi card to work

The ath5k module has been removed from the kernel temporarily.

  • Follow instructions in link above to add the backport modules
  • Run: System -> Administration -> Hardware Drivers
  • Deselect: "Support for Atheros 802.11 wireless LAN cards."
  • Reboot
Mount the internal pendrive as /home

This gives users a lot of flash storage and saves writes to the system SSD.

  • Copy home directory (and contents) to pen drive partition, wherever it is mounted.
  • Find out the device of the pendrive with "mount" and look for "/media/disk" assuming that no other USB drives are connected. It may be "/dev/sdc"
  • Find out the UUID of the partition with "sudo vol_id /dev/sdc1" (device from above)
  • Add a line to "/etc/fstab" to mount the UUID to /home with the following options and then reboot.
defaults,noatime,errors=remount-ro  0   1
Enable processor scaling (* optional)

Save on battery power and only run the clock quickly when you need it.
* however, you'll notice poor performance playing media as it keeps slowing down the CPU.

Install CPU frequency monitor (* Xubuntu only)

if you're using CPU frequency scaling, type the following into a shell:

sudo apt-get install xfce4-cpu-freq-plugin
Allow user to control CPU frequency

(* optional and only if scaling enabled)
Just in case you want to lock it running fast.

Move Right Shift Key etc.

(* if you've physically shifted the keys)
This swaps the up/PgUp key with right shift and the down/PgDn with right/End key. However, best way is to put all of the "xmodmap" statements into /etc/rc.local.

Install touchscreen drivers

(* if you have a touchscreen installed)
This will get the touchscreen to actually do something useful. Install the Ubuntu driver package:

sudo apt-get install xserver-xorg-input-evtouch
  • Run: System -> Administration -> Calibrate Touchscreen
  • Reboot

This is the theory at least, however I discovered that the touchscreen calibration utility didn't quite like my touchscreen, so I ended up (by trial and error) mucking around with the MIN and MAX figures. Here is the "/etc/evtouch/config" file for my particular touchscreen which works quite well:

Tweak some Gnome settings (Ubuntu only)

Allow windows to move off the top of the screen and change font sizes etc.

Stop Firefox from hanging

Some of the new bits aren't quite working well enough.

Install all of the nice multimedia stuff and libdvdcss

Install the likes of mp3 codecs etc. Just select the right distribution.

Set up Channels for TV

If you have a TV card and want to use "Media Player" (Totem) for viewing. I'm not going to go into the details for setting up your specific card.

  • Download w_scan
  • Compile w_scan
  • run w_scan with:
./w_scan -X -E0 -R0 > ~/.gstreamer-0.10/dvb-dhannels.conf

Those options explained:

  • -X : put the file into "xine" format
  • -E0 : ignore all pay channels
  • -R0 : ignore all radio channels

Then you simply fire up "Movie Player" and watch away!


Basically at some point, I installed the Eee Kernel and things were working. I need to go back and investigate if it was that or the stuff below that did it. So, may start from fresh at some point.

ACPI - fix hotkeys, camera etc.

Just do it - need I say more? Will also install build-essentials.

Set up Wi-Fi Hotkey

Allow you to turn the WiFi on and off with [Fn] [F2].


Set the module options for audio.


Now do a wee script to operate the WiFi and audio hotkeys. Digg Facebook Google LinkedIn LiveJournal NewsVine reddit StumbleUpon Twitter
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