Spectralcat's Blog

July 1, 2009

Part IV: Liberating the Asus 1000HE: Configuring Eeebuntu

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — spectralcat @ 10:36 pm

Most of the default settings in Eeebuntu will work just fine on the 1000HE.  A few of them, though, need to be specially tweaked.  Let’s get started making these adjustments.  First, boot into Eeebuntu and log in; the first time you log in the screen might now display the bar at the top of the screen improperly. If this happens, left click in the upper right hand corner, select log out and log back in; everything should now look fine.

Oddly, the first time you log into Eeebuntu the bar at the top of the screen may not display properly.  Note the missing icons in the upper-right hand corner

Oddly, the first time you log into Eeebuntu the bar at the top of the screen may not display properly. Note the missing icons in the upper-right hand corner

Logging out and logging back in fixes this problem.  This is what the top panel should look like.  Oddly, I could still click on the username in the upper-right hand corner to log out even though it was intially invisible (see the picture above).

Logging out and logging back in fixes this problem. This is what the top panel should look like. Oddly, I could still click on the username in the upper-right hand corner to log out even though it was intially invisible (see the picture above).

Now that the screen is displaying properly, log onto the Internet using the network icon in the upper-right hand corner of the screen. Then open the package manager Synaptic. (A package manager is a program that installs, configures, and removes other programs for your computer. There are a couple of package managers available for Eeebuntu, but Synaptic is the best.) Go to System: Administration: Synaptic and enter your password. In Synaptic search for “wicd.” Right-click on wicd and select “install.” Then click “Apply” at the top of the screen. This will replace the buggy default wifi manager with the much superior wicd. You must now log out and log back in for wicd to work.

Setting up Eeepc-ACPI-Utilities:

Now before we install the updates for the computer, we want to make sure that eeepc-acpi-utilities does not automatically update. The version that comes with the installer (eeepc-acpi-utilities_1.0.43) works reasonably well on the 1000HE (though it’s missing some features); the newer version, however, tned to have big problems changing power settings. To prvent eeepc-acpi-utilties for updating, open Synaptic and search for “eee acpi”. Click on eeepc-acpi-utilities and then on the menu at the top of Synaptic select: Package: Lock Version. Search again for “eee acpi” and click on eeepc-tray and select: Package: Lock Version. Hopefully the problems with eeepc-acpi-utilities and the 1000HE will be solved in the future. I recommend following the discussions on this thread and on Fewt’s blog to see whether the support for the 1000HE has improved.

UPDATE 8/7/09: The current version of ACPI Utilities seems to work quite well with the 1000HE so I would now recommend disregarding the above advice about locking eeepc-acpi-utilities and instead just updating the software as follows. (Unfortunately the i2c_i801 still is not fully supported by eee-acpi-utilities; hopefully, it will be supported soon.) Alternately, this guide by Siege should help you get some of the more advanced features of acpi-utilities working. (The guide is working for the 1000HA but I’m using it on a 1000HE and it seems to work fine so far.) Some of the changes to the .xorg file, shmconfig.fdi, and /boot/grub/menu.lst differ slightly from the changes that I make below. (I would still recommend following the discussions on this thread and on Fewt’s blog to see whether the support for the 1000HE has improved.)

Now let’s install all of the updates available for your computer. Log onto the internet using the wicd program in the upper right-hand corner of the screen. Then select Reload in Synaptic. Then click “Mark all Updates”. Then click Apply.

Next, you will want to add the hpet option to your Linux boot menu (Grub). Acpi-utilities needs this option to work properly. To do this click on Applications in the upper-left hand corner of the window. Select Accessories then select Terminal. Type the following command into the Terminal window and hit enter:

sudo cp /boot/grub/menu.lst /boot/grub/menu.lst.old

Enter your password when prompted. (This command makes a backup copy of the file /boot/grub/menu.lst.) Then type the following command in the Terminal and hit enter:

sudo gedit /boot/grub/menu.lst

This command opens the file /boot/grub/menu.lst in the program Gedit (a similar program to Windows Notepad) Then, in the new Gedit window, type Ctrl+F (for search) and search for the following phrase: # defoptions=

Once you find the line that begins: “# defoptions=”, change it to read:

# defoptions=quiet splash force-hpet

Save the file and exit Gedit. Now we need to recreate the Grub menu.  In the Terminal window type the following command:

sudo update-grub

Now let’s fix another bug with eeepc-utilities by removing our user name from the eeeuser group. I’ve found that acpi-utilities will not allow me to change the power settings on my 1000HE unless I enter my password. Removing your name from the eeeuser group will allow you to change your power settings by entering your password. Hopefully a newer update of eeepc-acpi-utilities will fix this problem.  In the Terminal window type the following command to backup your group file:

sudo cp /etc/group /etc/group.old

Then in Terminal type the following command to edit the group file with Gedit:

sudo gedit /etc/group

Then in Gedit type Ctrl+F to open a search window and search for the phrase: eeeuser. If you see your screen name located on the line with eeeuser, erase your name but leave the colon that precedes it. Select ctrl+s to save and exit Gedit. Reboot the computer and now when you click on the acpi-utilities icon in the upper left hand corner you should be prompted for your password and then you should be able to manually select the power mode (Super High Performace, Power saver, etc.). Use the Power Saver setting when you run the computer on battery.

Here I'm using the program Powertop (install it in Synaptic) the battery life that eeepc-acpi-utilities is giving me.  I've turned off the wifi (as well as the bluetooth and webcam), and I'm running the 1000HE in "Power Saver" mode.  The 1000HE is currently using 7.0 watts of power, and Powertop is estimating that I'll get 9.6 hours of battery life at this setting.

Here I'm using the program Powertop (install it in Synaptic) to measure the battery life that eeepc-acpi-utilities is giving me. I've turned off the wifi (as well as the bluetooth and webcam), and I'm running the 1000HE in "Power Saver" mode. The 1000HE is currently using 7.0 watts of power, and Powertop is estimating that I'll get 9.6 hours of battery life at this setting. And this isn't even the updated eeepc-acpi-utilities.

Now let’s allow eeepc-ACPI-utilities to have shared memory access to the touchpad.  To do this open the Terminal again (Applications: accessories: Terminal) and type the following:

sudo gedit /etc/hal/fdi/policy/shmconfig.fdi

Then copy and paste the following into the Gedit window and select save:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="ISO-8859-1"?>
<deviceinfo version="0.2">
  <device>
    <match key="info.product" string="ETPS/2 Elantech Touchpad">
      <merge key="input.x11_options.SHMConfig" type="string">True</merge>
      <merge key="input.x11_driver" type="string">synaptics</merge>
    </match>
  </device>
  <device>
    <match key="info.linux.driver" string="psmouse">
      <merge key="input.x11_options.SHMConfig" type="string">True</merge>
    </match>
   </device>
</deviceinfo>

Next I want to make Eeebuntu’s sound louder; Eeeebuntu sets the sound too low by default. So let’s fix that. Go to System: Preferences: Sound. Go to the bottom to “Default Mixer Tracks”; this lets you choose which device controls line in, line out etc. and you can test each one. On the last drop down menu, choose the HDA Intel (Alsa mixer); in the box below choose Line out and then select Close. Then on right click the volume icon in the upper right hand corner of the screen and choose preferences, choose HDA Intel Alsa Mixer and select Line Out; then select Close. Then right click again on the volume icon in the upper right hand corner, choose “Open volume control,” and crank PCM all the up, and turn the Line Out up. Thanks to Stanjam here.

At this point, it also makes sense to install the extras codecs that you’ll need for playing music, video, and dvds.  These are not installed by default for legal reasons as they are all affected by various kinds of fascist licenses.  These programs are optional, but you probably want them.  To install them, open Synaptic and search for (and mark for installation) the following: ubuntu-restricted-extras, libdvdcss2, adblock-plus, flashblock.  Click Apply.

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