Friday, February 19, 2010

Moblin, Eeebuntu 4.0 beta, etc

Just got back from Cebu GNU Linux Users Group meeting. I saw someone using Moblin. Three thumbs up! The UI is very intuitive, and will have no problems with mainstream customer adoption.

Meanwhile, Eeebuntu 4.0 is not even ready for early adopters. The installation stopped somewhere at around 95% and complained about failed GRUB setup. I'm currently downloading Ubuntu 9.10 Netbook Remix because my Eee is left with a broken OS. Let's see how this goes.

Monday, February 08, 2010

FreeBSD on Eee

I've managed to install FreeBSD 8.0 on my Eee. I was planning to install NetBSD 5.0, but I found out that I had to convert the ISO to a memory stick image before I can dd it. For some reasons, unetbootin doesn't work with NetBSD's ISOs. There's a script that converts NetBSD ISOs to memstick images, but it seems that it only works on an existing *BSD system. I could have just SSH'd into a remote NetBSD system so that I can run the script there, but I realized that the output would be too big. SSH access is a privilege and not a right; abusing it with large file transfers is a big no-no.

I tried to manually create an image using Mac OS X, but I couldn't initialize my USB stick's MBR (i.e., I couldn't boot from the USB). It says that it couldn't find "/usr/standalone/i386/boot0". I searched for it at the Mac OS X' original install discs, but I couldn't find it there either.

It is possible to install NetBSD using Mac OS X, but I was like, FreeBSD is already available as a memstick image from its FTP site. Why not use it? Thus, I downloaded it, dd'd it to my USB stick, and installed it on my Eee. Everything was straightforward.

Straightforward is boring. I'll try to recompile the kernel to see if I can further reduce its boot time (it boots less than 20sec from GRUB to login). I strongly suspect that I'll just reduce its space but not its boot time, but I'll never know until I try. I'll also try to install NetBSD via PXE, once I'm done playing with FreeBSD. I haven't tried doing it yet.

Saturday, February 06, 2010



I've finally got around installing Moblin. I've copied the image to a USB stick and attempted to boot the OS. The boot process didn't continue though. I got the following error:
/dev/sda does not contain a rootfs
/dev/sdb does not contain a rootfs
/dev/sdc does not contain a rootfs
/dev/sdd does not contain a rootfs
I might try tweaking the kernel configs some time to see if it would work. Meanwhile, I'll just install NetBSD.

Boot Booster

Eee's BootBooster reduced the boot time by skipping the pre-boot sequence. Eeebuntu wasted installed a swap partition when I first installed it, but I never used it because I know that swapping would increase the number of writes to my Eee's SSD. Increasing the number of writes would shorten its life span. Thus, I deleted my swap and installed an EFI partition in its place. Once the BIOS detected the new partition, the BootBooster option magically appeared.


A quick googling revealed that coreboot is unsupported on an Eee PC 701. I've also stumbled upon flashrom's source code (Linux bios flasher), and it explicitly stated that Eee PC 701 has been verified to be unsupported. Oh well.