Archive for the ‘ubuntu’ Category

Asus eeepc 1005HA and Meego 1.0.1

July 16, 2010

I bought my eeepc in last December and since then i am using Ubuntu Netbook Remix(UMR) or Ubuntu Netbook Edition(UNE). It was working good and with some hacks i was able to use it to the best.

I don’t use my netbook for much multimedia purposes(still i need to listen to a set of songs once in a while). I have a desktop from my institute and a another pc with a big screen TV connected to it for my multimedia choices. When i saw Meego coming out from maemo and moblin i was actually excited. There were many reason for excitement, one was of to see how they choose or combine the two legacies(maemo comes from so called debian side and moblin from fedora). Other was of happiness, since an os meant for mobile/smartphone computing will definitely be simple and faster.

Due to all excitement and my interest in OSes for netbooks based on Linux, i tried it out yesterday(yeah, i know its one and half months after 1.0 came out). To say the least, it was a very good system. Yeah there are a lot of drawbacks. But for a 1.0 release it appears pretty good.

The thing i hated most in the in these first 24 hrs is(whether you believe or not), it doesn’t have g++. It is quite essential to compile somethings which doesn’t come with the default system or in repository. Really speaking, i didn’t care that i don’t have multimedia capability, but g++ is essential for me.

As most of the other reviews say, interface is very good and the best for a netbook. I will go to the extent like, this is the best i have seen. Still there are issues with policy kit authetication(for my NTFS partition from windows installed by ASUS and ext4 of 10.04 UNE). Since the system or syslinux based bootloader doesn’t support ext4, i had to recover the grub for ubuntu(which took some of my time).

Lack of office programs wont bother me much, but i didn quite understand the part of gadget(which allows you to add numerous plugin scripts the system). Poorly designed and quite out of focus. I use latex and beamer for my document and presentation purposes, so i was ok when ooffice was not there in Meego. But, when i get a ODF standard document, i don’t really know what to do.

I noted another interesting aspect, the whole Meego claims to have Malayalam support and can input and render malayalam quite well(smc-fonts are missing, i am planning to put a repo in our savannah and later make sure meego uses smc-fonts and it comes default). Chromium has some issue when it comes to rendering Unicode 5.0(pre unicode 5.1 chilus, its not able to convert cons+virama+ zwj-> chillu). The interface renders it very well though. So, i think it has something to do with the chromium rendering modules(webkit i suppose, to be fair, chrome in windows doesn’t show such tendencies).

Anyway, for serious netbook users and for future smartphones, systems based on meego and android are the future. I am all out to make sure, malayalam is working perfect and out of the box for meego(its easier for me and since its built especially for atom, i am one of the few who can test it).

I will setup a repository for smc fonts for meego in savannah. Next step is to make meego developers add smc-fonts in the repo. Another task is about verifying the rendering issue with chromium(which might take time, since i need to find chromium users in GNU.Linux).

For a first release, i should say, meego is very impressive. Yeah i know it doesn’t have multimedia capabilities(can’t even play my MPs files), still it gets a lot of marks for the interface. If they succeed in making the interface flawless, with a good sync with policy-kit to authenticate, i think meego can make a big leap with next release.

Asus eeepc 1005HA hotkeys and ubuntu lucid

June 11, 2010

My Asus eeepc 1005HA was working like a charm from the day I bought. It came with Windows XP pre-installed. Since I am not quite a fan of XP i decided to install some GNU/Linux distro. I left the windows partition as it is and installed Ubuntu on one half of my hard disk. Anyway, I installed then latest Karmic Koala 9.10 Ubuntu Netbook Remix. If I remember right, it came with a 2.6.31 kernel. As expected everything worked out of the box. Hotkeys, network(wired n wireless, atheros devices), touchpad, sound,camera worked smoothly. There were some issues with hibernation. Microphone had some issues. I installed the backport modules then.

When first beta of Lucid came out, I decided to switch. It came with a 2.6.32 kernel. Since it was beta, Lucid gave some small issues, related to the improved and renamed interface(Ubuntu Netbook Edition). Most of them were quickly fixed. Except the issue related to hot keys(eeepc-laptop,the driver which controls hot keys won’t load by default).

First, as any Ubuntu user will do, i did a little search on Ubuntu forums. As expected, the problem was already reported. Some kind of a solution was also given(pass acpi_osi=Linux as a kernel argument). But it didn’t workout quite well since it also killed my wired interface some how. I didn’t really dig up on what is happening then. Since it was not a great important thing for me, I kept it aside. Lately, when I got some free time, decided to explore a little.

So,I simply did the then easiest and blind thing to do. Check whether its fixed in the latest stable kernel. So, i downloaded the latest stable kernel(2.6.34), from kernel.org and compiled it. Since I knew quite about my laptop then, I spent some time on removing all unwanted drivers and technologies. Finally I compiled the kernel in my 1005HA. Since I knew from bugs reports that to load eeepc-laptop, acpi_osi is to be passed, I did that. Ta da, now it works 🙂

Then as any curious and interested guy will do, I decided to explore more. Find out what was going wrong. Check why it worked in Karmic and not in Lucid. Different bug reports and details dating from November 2009 quite gave an idea.

The issue is related to ASUS and Windows 7. Apparently for compatibility with Windows 7, they changed their ACPI device from the usual one(ASUS010) to Windows Management Interface(WMI). BIOS updates to enable windows 7 support simply disables the ASUS010 interface used by eeepc-laptop when an OS is detected as Windows 7. When OSI is invoked by BIOS, Linux kernel usually returns true for any windows string. An easy way is to blacklist the new eeepc models. But, its not the right solution also it created some issues since its not the optimal solution.

The permanent solution for the problem is to write eeepc-wmi interface. There is some preliminary experimental driver available from Yong Wang. It is quite in its infancy. It will load the eeepc-wmi driver when acpi_osi is not passed. One of the most used hot keys is the Wireless LAN one. But it is still not done in the new eeepc-wmi driver. So, I guess it might take some time for it to get fixed. Or someone who really know how do this should sit on it and finish it off. Device drivers are quite out of my understanding, but I am ready to help in anyway I can. So, for time being, this workaround looks the only way forward.