Since I've reinstalled my Samsung NC10 netbook over the past weekend, I thought I should step up and document the endeavor so I could help out others, and mostly myself if I ever have to do it again in the future
I bought the netbook a couple of years ago, has always run different flavors of Linux, and has kept me company on many, many trips. Last week I came across a great opportunity to replace my conventional HDD for a SSD, and treated myself to a RAM-upgrade to boot. Since I had to reinstall anyway I did some soul-searching to determine which distribution I wanted. I didn't want Unity nor Gnome3, at all, and be full-featured, so I almost immediately came to Mint Having used it in the past, I've always been rather fond of it. With the path Ubuntu is taking, and Gnome2 no longer being developed, I decided to go with the Debian-based distribution, to get ahead of curve in learning to use XFCE.
So without further ado, let's see what I did:
Steps taken to reinstall my netbook with Linux Mint 11 on a SSD Drive
Disclaimer: My netbook has a resolution of 1024x600, so your mileage may vary when using my design on your own machine.
Disclaimer: Yes, I allocated less than 60GB in the partitioning. Disk says 60GB, but manufacturers have been using 1KB=1000B from the get-go, instead of the proper 1K=1024B, therefor the size is actually only 55.9GB (60.000.000.000 divided by 1024, divided by 1024, divided by 1024).
Disclaimer: Moan and roll your eyes as much as you like, my main PC is still Windows-based as I like to play games.
- Downloaded image
- Used Unetbootin on Win7 to put image on USB thumbdrive
- Boot netbook from USB thumbdrive
- Used GParted to create the following:
sda1 root ext4 19.4GB
sda3 boot ext4 600MB
sda4 swap linux-swap 2.5GB
sda2 extended partition 33GB
sda5 home ext4 16GB
sda6 usr ext4 12GB
sda7 var ext4 5GB
- Click 'Install Linux Mint'
- Select language, timezone and keyboard layout
- Select sda as the drive you want to install too
- In the partition overview, right-click each partition (except swap, which is recognized due to it's format), choose Edit, and assign the appropriate mount-point.
- Enter data concerning your userdata and hostname
- select /dev/sda as to where you want to install Grub (do NOT select /dev/sda3 !!)
- Review your settings and if they're correct, click 'Install'
- <Drink coffee, or step out for a cigarette for a couple of minutes>
- When done, open menu, click 'log out', and select 'Reboot' from the new menu.
- When told to do so, remove USB thumbdrive and press Enter.
- After reboot, log in with the user you created during the install.
After a second reboot (wanted to check the BIOS-settings), it didn't respond to keystrokes or mouse-movement at the logon-screen! To troubleshoot this I rebooted the machine from the USB thumbdrive again and examined some logfiles on the filesystem on the SSD. Couldn't find any errors, but on the internet I found a lot of topics on the subject. There were examples of problems with udev, evdev, hal and/or X. None of the solutions (replace packages, change configurations, restart this and that) helped in my situation, so I opted for reinstalling the same Debian-based release, but with Gnome instead of XFCE. Went through the previous steps again, but resulted in the same issue!!
After some more troubleshooting (roughly 6 hours total) I opted for the Ubuntu-based release and installed that in no-time at all. Note: This is almost certainly NOT a Mint-issue! It's something between Debian and my hardware, unicorns happen.
Things I installed after finishing
As Mint is pretty complete in itself, this list is luckily rather short
- geany (apt-get) -- Great text-editor, like Notepad++ on Windows
- guake (apt-get) -- Quake-like console, always active, drops down on key-stroke
- google-chrome-stable (viewtopic.php?f=6&t=31358)
- avant-window-navigator (apt-get) -- To replace Gnome's panel
- awn-applets-all (apt-get)
- shutter (apt-get) -- Proper screenshots ftw!
- gmrun (apt-get) -- To replace Gnomes "Run Application"
- sabnzbdplus (apt-get) -- To get connectivity to Usenet
- Optimize the system for SSD:
http://brainwreckedtech.wordpress.com/2 ... mizations/
http://www.mydigitallife.info/how-to-mo ... her-drive/
The installation (whether done by Mint, Ubuntu or, Debian I don't care, much thumbs up!!!) already detects the SSD and automagically changes some settings itself (write-through to write-back, and the elevator to noop), so only the fstab needs to be changed. Since I only have 2GB RAM and I want to keep my logs, I only added /tmp and /var/tmp to tmpfs. Next to that, I moved Firefox's cache-directory to RAM (as in /tmp/firefox). Note: The latter cannot be done for Chrome, as there (as far as I can tell) you can only move the entire profile-directory, not just the cache, and you don't want to have your setting reset after every reboot
This change has multiple benefits:
2) Less unnecessary writing to SSD
3) When you reboot, all the trash is gone
- Remove MOTD in terminal viewtopic.php?f=47&t=26399&start=0&hilit=disable+fortune
- Remove inefficient (on netbook with touchpad that is) scrollbars in Gnome http://superuser.com/questions/281047/c ... -old-style
- Change wallpaper http://tithis.deviantart.com/art/Linux- ... e-85524931
- Change Panels from Gnome to Avant Window Navigator (AWN)
Note: There are a LOT of topics and discussions on this matter all over the web, and many are VERY intrusive!! Most of them hack into the current session, and some even go as far as removing execution-rights to parts of Gnome or even deleting packages... My method is non-intrusive, leaves everything intact and allows you the choice at logon.
as root or with sudo:
create /usr/share/gnome-session/sessions/AWN.session with this content:
create /usr/share/xsessions/AWN.desktop with content:
Comment=This session logs you into Gnome, with AWN as a Dock
When you go back to the login-screen you can now choose the AWN session.
After this I played around with the settings of both AWN and Compiz, to make the session look like I want it to. The result is visible in the attached picture. I also added the export of the AWN-settings.
- Since gnome-panels aren't loaded anymore, Alt+F2 (Run Application) will NOT work!! However, I installed gmrun, so just create a new keyboard shortcut (Menu -> Preferences -> Keyboard Shortcuts) and link it to whatever (I choose Super+r).
- Add a menu-entry for sabnzbdplus
as root or with sudo:
create /usr/share/applications/sabnzbdplus.desktop with this content:
Comment=Connect to Usenet
- add guake to starting applications at logon (Menu -> Preferences -> Startup Applications)
So there you have it, feel free to comment, post (technical !) improvements to my setup, or just get the attachments