Thursday, February 18, 2010

(2) Installing Ubuntu Karmic Koala 9.10

First of all: don't forget to make the Backup DVDs (3) of original Windows OS if you wish, one day, to come back to Windows for any reason...

Second step, update the BIOS to the latest version (1.20 when writing this message).

In this procedure, the entire hard drive is used, this means, everything available is erased.

To be able to run Ubuntu without problems if you have Intel video chip and ATI video card, it is important to et set to 'discrete' the video card in the BIOS. Otherwise, you might never see X window after installation...
By the way, it is not necessary to switch the Hard Drive in IDE mode in BIOS if you don't plan to

Ubuntu installer is quite easy and self explicit not to require any explanation. Nevertheless, it might be useful to define your own partition table instead of converting the entire Hard Drive space into 1 partition. Dedicated partitions can have significant improvements on Linux usability and further manipulation of recovery.

The Hard Drive in this laptop is a 320 MB, so, here is the partition table used, in this specific order:

  • /             10240 MB (10 GB)
  • /boot          1024 MB (1 GB)
  • /swap         2048 MB (2 GB)*
  • /usr         20480 MB (20 GB)
  • /var         10240 MB (10 GB)
  • /tmp           5120 MB (5 GB)
  • /usr/local    5120 MB (5 GB)
  • /home        available left space
* = even if there is 3 GB of RAM, it is not necessary to increase the swap space above 2 GB, the max useful amount.

For partition description, you can refer to this excellent (French) guide:
or to the huge amount of Linux help around the web.

Finally, once you have followed all the simple steps, you can reboot and run a fresh Ubuntu on this laptop. Every hardware is detected without problems.

Later we will see what to setup to make some things run smoother or use the ATI acceleration functions.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

(1) Discovering my Acer Aspire TimeLine laptop

The laptop I use is an Acer TimeLine AS3810TZG-413G32n model. It comes with:
  • Windows® 7 Home Premium 64-bit version
  • Intel® Pentium® Processor SU4100 (2MB L2 cache, 1.30GHz, 800MHz FSB)
  • 3GB DDR3 1066 SDRAM
  • 320GB hard drive
  • 5-in-1 card reader
  • Acer® CineCrystal 13.3" (1366 x 768) TFT display
  • Intel® Graphics Media Accelerator 4500MHD (switchable)
  • ATI® Radeon HD 4330 video card
  • 802.11b/g/Draft-N WLAN and gigabit LAN
  • 1,3 Mpixel webcam with an integrated mic
  • Full size keyboard
  • Audio input and output and 2 stereo speakers in front

Finally, the machine's weight is 1,6 Kg, and was shipped with a nice Acer 16x external USB DVD burner.