Fun with UnetBootIn

Distro Hopping on the Acer Aspire One

Posts Tagged ‘UNR’

Introduction

Posted by x1101 on August 2, 2009

Hi,

Before I start to review Distro’s for the Acer Aspire One I should probably give you a bit of information about my and about the specific model I am doing the reviews for.

My Name is Lyle and I own an Acer Aspire One D150.  This is the 10.1 inch model with 1GB of RAM and a 120 GB Hard Drive.  I got the 6 Cell battery rather than the standard 3 Cell to improve battery life.  I have been using various Linux Distro’s for about 6 years now. I started on, and have mostly stayed with, Ubuntu. While I have spend a majority of my time in the Linux community on Ubuntu systems, I have ventured out into others as well. I have played with Fedora, Debian, Gentoo, and several Ubuntu derivatives including Fluxbuntu, !#Crunchbang and Mint.

When I purchased my AAO it came with Windows XP Home on it. That saw exactly one partial boot, and that is only because I had failed to successfully set the proper boot device.

My first install was on UNR (Ubuntu NetbookRemix).  Because this was the first Linux distro on the AAO (always named Rogue2, as all my machines are Snub-fighter call signs) it will sort of server as an unofficial standard against which all the others will be judged. This is in no way saying that UNR is the “best” distro for a netbook. In fact that is what I hope to discover, what really is best.  So I invite you to send me any suggestions for distro’s to review. And just to be up front. I do not intend to stick solely to Linux. I am willing to try everything from Win7 to *BSD.

So without further Ado, my review of UNR:

UNR was very easy to install, since it was simply an Ubuntu installer.  Since this was a base install I had to do a bit of partitioning.  I set up a / partition, as well as a data partition, which is now split to a second distro. I use 2GB of swap space.  As per the wiki article, everything worked out of the box with the notable exception of the microphone, which does not matter to me. The interface for UNR is unique.  Below is stock shot from the Ubuntu wiki of what would look like.

Click on the Image above to be taken to the article about this.  While it is based on Gnome, it seems to ignore the standard thoughts as to what a ‘desktop’ is. With the ‘Go Home’ button in the top left where the usual Gnome menu would be you are brought back to this screen. All applications launched are maximized (a program called maximus), as well as placed into the window picker applet beside the go home icon. This allows for a maximum screen usage.  Being a ‘power user’, I had to grab a few custom config files for command line interface, but otherwise, no work was required to get this up and going.  As for daily use, it is very akin to using a regular Ubuntu 9.04 system. The same update notifications, same Add/Remove programs method, same repositories.

UNR had no issues with suspend and resume. Very speedy, did not disable audio, network came back up almost before you could unlock the system. The one other issue (which I really consider a feature) is that the AAO seems not to send any kind of signal to the OS when the lid is closed. This means that you do have to spend a few minutes in the power options changed ‘when lid is closed’ and ‘when power button is pushed’ options to your liking. As I said, I really consider this a benefit rather than a problem, because it saved me the trouble of setting it up to ignore the lid being closed.

Overall:

I have to say that UNR was good fit for the AAO. It makes good use of the screen, has no issues with wireless, keeps batter time to about 4 hours, and for the most part works out of the box (after a visit from the UnetBootIn fairy). There is also a strong community (really just a sub-group of the Ubuntu community) as well as readily available documentation.  Score 8/10.

Next:

Next I will take a look at !#Crunchbang and see how it fares on the AAO.

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