Welcome Guest [Log in]

SWATTEC : Home Page > Tutorials and Help for Others > Linux on Netbooks > 2 - Download and install

Please Note: While this content is relevant to the SUSD SWATTEC program, the http://ubermix.org website is the formal location for up-to-date content and information on ubermix Linux, downloads, etc. Up-to-date instructions are at http://ubermix.org/download.html

The ubermix image will work on almost any netbook (as well as most laptops and desktops) although there are issues with some models. Be sure to read this entire page before you install for important notes and details. If you have not yet selected a netbook model, we are presently recommending the Dell Mini 1018, HP Mini 100e or 1103, Asus EeePC 10xx, and Acer AspireOne models. Other models are known to work as well - these we have found to be the best performing/most compatible.

Please also note that this image does work on most desktop and full-size laptops as well.


Try ubermix:

Download the VirtualBox virtual appliance image for use on Windows, Mac, or Linux

If you would like to try out the ubermix without actually installing, you can use Virtualbox 4.x (free), which you can download from here. Please note: these VMs require at least version 4.0.8 of VirtualBox. Once installed, download one of the following virtual appliance files:

See http://ubermix.org for the latest downloads

If you have Virtualbox properly installed on your machine, you should be able to double-click the Ubermix.ova file when the download is complete to install. You can also open VirtualBox and choose "Import appliance" from the "File" menu. See the Virtualbox instructions for further details.


Install ubermix:

Download the install image for Netbooks/Laptops/Desktops w/ 512M+ RAM

The ubermix is a custom UNE install that requires a USB key of at least 2Gb in size. There are currently multiple versions of the ubermix available for download:

All image files are located on the Download Files page to the right

Important Note: For model specific issues and configuration instructions, see the section at the bottom of this page.

Follow me on twitter for notification of updates.


Creating the USB Key


  1. Determine where the image file was saved when you downoaded it from the web site. It should be in the root of your Home folder. If not, move it there.
  2. Insert your 2Gb+ USB key in any available USB port on your machine. Most Linux systems will automatically mount the key.
  3. We need to find out what disk the system assigned to the key. To do so, open up a terminal (usually under "Accessories") and type "mount" followed by the enter key. In the list of disks that appear, you should see your USB key at the bottom, listed as "/dev/sd*1" where * is probably a,b,c,or d. 
  4. Next, unmount the USB key by typing "umount /dev/sdX1" (replacing "X" with the letter you saw in the list on step 3)
  5. Finally, type in "sudo dd if=ubermix-key0.910.img of=/dev/sdX" followed by the enter key, where "X" is the letter you determined in step 3. If you will be installing an older release, replace "ubermix-key0.910.img" with "ubermix-key0.809.img" or "ubermix-key0.717.img" (ie the one you downloaded). When the command completes, you will have a USB key that is ready to boot and install the custom build of UNR on your netbook.


  1. These instructions assume you are using Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard. If you are using another version of OS X, details may differ slightly. 
  2. Determine where the image file was saved when you downoaded it from the web site. Macs usually store downloaded files in the "Downloads" folder, which is in your home folder. Firefox often saves downloads in the Desktop. Move the downloaded image to your home folder.
  3. Insert your 2Gb+ USB key in one of the USB ports on your Mac.
  4. Switch to the Finder and open the "Utilities" folder (Go -> Utilities)
  5. Open "Disk Utility"
  6. When Disk Utility opens, locate your USB key in the panel on the left of the window. You will see two items in the list: the key itself ("Lexar" in the example below - yours will probably be different), and the volume that exists on the key ("usb_disk" in the example below - yours will probably be different). Ctrl-click on the volume ("usb_disk on the example - yours will be different) and select "Unmount"
  7. Close the Disk Utility, and Open "Terminal" in the "Utilities" window
  8. Type "diskutil list" in the terminal window, and look for your USB key in the list. The detail we are looking for is which device it is ("/dev/disk2" in the example below)
  9. Once you have determined which device it is, type in the following: "sudo dd if=ubermix-key0.910.img of=/dev/diskX" replacing the "X" with the disk number from step 8. If you will be installing an older release, replace "ubermix-key0.910.img" with "ubermix-key0.809.img" or "ubermix-key0.717.img" (ie the one you downloaded). When the command completes, you will have a USB key that is ready to boot and install the custom build of UNR on your netbook. Note that my experience has been that Macs do this rather slowly, for some reason. If you plan to make multiple keys, create one on the Mac, install on a netbook, and then use the netbook to make additional keys.


  1. Download win32disk imager from https://launchpad.net/win32-image-writer/+download
  2. Locate the zip file you just downloaded, right-click on it, and choose "Extract" to extract the application from the zip file.
  3. Locate the W32DiskImager.exe file you extracted, and double-click to run the application
  4. Select the ubermix-key0.910.img, ubermix-key0.809.img, or "ubermix-key0.717.img" (ie the one you downloaded).
  5. Insert your 2Gb+ USB key in a USB port on your PC
  6. Click on the refresh button on the right under "Device", and then select the drive letter of your USB key
  7. Click on the "Write" button and wait until the operation completes.


Installing on your System

Instructions for booting a system from a USB key will vary from system to system, so you will want to consult the manual that came with your system if the following instructions do not work for some reason.

Warning: If your netbook has never had the ubermix installed on it, this process will erase everything on your netbook. If there is anything on it that you want to keep, you will want to back it up prior to performing the following steps. As of version .65, netbooks that already have ubermix .65 or later on them can simply be upgraded, with no loss of user files.

  1. If your netbook is turned on, shut it down first.
  2. Insert the USB key you created in the prior steps, and press the power button on your netbook.
  3. When you see a splash screen press whatever key is appropriate for your machine to show the boot menu. For Asus EeePCs and HP Mini it is usually escape, for Dell it's usually F12.
  4. Select the USB key from the menu and press the Enter key on your keyboard

In a few seconds, you will see a menu containing installation options, as follows:

  1. Install Ubuntu Netbook Edition 10.x
  2. Apply simple updates
  3. Do both 1 & 2
  4. Fast image (both 1 & 2, format user home, no prompts)
  5. Expert Options

Note: If the system hangs on a flashing cursor while booting from the key, please see Model Specific Issues section below for instructions.

Understanding the options:

When designing this setup, the concept behind the installation process has been to create a general base installation, represented by option 1, and then add on a mechanism for customizing the base installation easily, which is represented by option 2. Option 1 is therefore required, as it is the entire operating systemThe modifications in option 2 represent only changes to the base install, and therefore require that the base install be completed first. Options 3 and 4 were added to speed the installation process, and option 5 is there for experts wishing to customize the image to match their environment.

By default, option 1 contains everything described in part 1 - Overview. Option 2 applies simple updates as described under section 4 - Customization, and should only be run on a system that has already been installed per option 1. On a default key, the pre-built simple updates are those that we use for student netbooks here at Saugus. They remove a number of preferences and settings icons from the interface (but not the underlying programs, so they still can be run), add on iTalc client for workstation management, and set up an automatic update mechanism that makes it possible to make mass changes to all systems at once. For details, see section 4 - Customization.


Model Specific Issues and Instructions

Please note: These instructions apply to ubermix versions 0.708 or greater. If you have an earlier version of the ubermix key, see this version of the document for help.

Devices with Clickpads (buttonless touchpads) like the HP Mini 210, DM1z, and 3105m

Synaptics Clickpads are (unfortunately) used on a number of laptops and netbooks, and are widely known to be unpleasant to use. While the default Ubuntu configuration works, it can be at times even more painful than on other platforms. In an effort to make the Clickpad more user-friendly when used with ubermix, we have included a package in version 0.910 and above with a custom version of the driver and configuration, which you can install by following these steps:

  1. Press ctrl-alt-t to open a terminal
  2. type "/usr/local/lib/clickpad/fix.sh"
  3. Reboot

If you are using a 0.9x version older than 0.910, you can download the update from here: xserver-xorg-input-synaptics_1.4.1-1ubermix2+clickpad_i386.deb  Double-click to install if you have a Clickpad-based device running ubermix, and enjoy a more pleasant user experience.

Older EeePC 900x (and perhaps others) with v0.90x (Leading-edge)

Some older EeePC models may have problems with their wireless adapters when waking from sleep, which often causes them to hang. Owners of these models that are experiencing problems should press ctrl-alt-t to open a terminal, then type /usr/local/lib/eeepc/fix.sh and press the enter key

Dell Inspiron Duo

The Dell Inspiron Duo is a unique machine with a built in touchscreen and a number of other innovations. In order to make the most of these innovations, some modifications to the default ubermix are required. These modifications work well on both stable and bleeding-edge ubermix, however bleeding-edge is recommended, as its interface is a bit more touch friendly. To install the Inspiron Duo mods, be sure to first connect to the internet, then open a terminal window (ctrl-alt-t) and type "/usr/local/lib/duo/setup.sh". When this completes, reboot and your Duo will be touch friendly. Be sure to install the ChromeTouch extension in Chrome to make your web browsing experience more enjoyable and note the "Zoom In/Out" and "Screen Orientation" options in Jupiter (the lightning bolt in the bar at the top of the display.)

Lenovo S10-3 fails to suspend/resume

To get the Lenovo S10-3 to suspend resume properly, a special kernel option must be added to the grub.cfg file. If you have an S10-3, send an email to jklein@saugususd.org and I'll send instructions.

Dell Mini 1018

The Dell Mini 1018 has a Realtek 8188ce wireless adapter, whose standard driver can be quite unstable (unexpected disconnects, ICMP failures, etc). To resolve this issue, we have built a custom version of the Realtek driver, which is included in ubermix versions 0.717+ (stable) and 0.808+ (bleeding edge). If you are using a prior version, use Firefox to download and install rtl8188-8192ce-ubermix1.deb to resolve these stability issues

Lots of errors on the screen on install, fails to boot

In certain rare circumstances, it is possible that a pre-existing hard disk partition table will be in a state that is incompatible with the ubermix install. To reset the partition table, boot from the ubermix key, choose option "5 Expert Options", then option "4 Reset partition table"

Battery level immediately shows critical when unplugged from power

While the Jupiter power manager (which is now part of ubermix) is compatible with the vast majority of machines out there, some do not function properly with it. To remove it and make this problem go away, open a terminal (ctrl-alt-t) and type "sudo apt-get purge jupiter", then reboot.

Headphone jack doesn't work on the Asus EeePC 1001PX

The (extremely odd) universal microphone/headphone combo jack on this model requires a minor configuration change to function. Perform the following steps:

  1. Press ctrl-alt-t to open a terminal
  2. type "sudo gedit /etc/modprobe.d/alsa-base.conf"
  3. Scroll to the bottom and add a new line at the end "options snd-hda-intel model=lifebook"
  4. Save and close the document
  5. Reboot

Brightness controls behave erratically

On some newer model netbooks, like the Asus EeePC 1001P, the brightness controls don't work correctly out of the box. To resolve this issue, do the following:

  1. Boot or reboot your machine, and press "esc" when the screen goes blank immediately after showing the model specific splash screen.
  2. Select "Normal Boot" and press the "e" key on your keyboard
  3. Select the line in the box that begins with the word "initrd" and move the cursor to the end of the line. Backspace over the four letters "aufs" and replace them with "generic". Do not add any spaces.
  4. Press "ctrl-x" to boot your machine
  5. When your machine finishes booting up, open a terminal (ctrl-alt-t) and type the following:

Some Intel wireless cards in models like the Dell Latitude 2100-2110

Models with Intel wireless adapters that are not working with ubermix can install the latest drivers by following these steps:

Open a terminal (ctrl-alt-t) and type:

mkdir /tmp/wlan
tar -xjf /usr/local/lib/ath5k/compat* -C /tmp/wlan
cd /tmp/wlan/compat*
./scripts/driver-select iwlagn
make && sudo make install
sudo depmod -a
sudo reboot 

Atheros 5000 series wireless b/g cards in older netbooks/laptops like the Acer AspireOne D250 does not work

Some older netbooks/laptops use an obsolete Atheros 5K wireless card that does not work out of the box with the ubermix's newer driver set. You can determine what wireless card you have by opening a terminal window (ctrl-alt-t) and typing "lshw -C network". If you see "Atheros 500x", then you'll need to install the driver. To do so, open a terminal window (ctrl-alt-t) and type "/usr/local/lib/ath5k/install.sh". When the install is complete, reboot and your wireless adapter should work.

Older laptops with Broadcom wireless cards

Laptops with really old Broadcom wireless cards (430x series) require a separate driver install to work with ubermix. See the Broadcom Wireless page for details. 

Microphone not working on EeePC 100x, Acer AspireOne D250, and similar models

These models use Intel "high-definition" audio cards with digital, rather than analog microphone inputs, which confuse the mixer. As a result, the input volume (gain) controls will appear to be non-functional in the volume applet at the top-right corner of the screen, and the microphone will appear to be malfunctioning. The microphone actually works, the mixer settings just need to be adjusted as follows:

  1. Go to "Sound and Video" (v0.70x) or "Media" (v0.80x) and open the "PulseAudio Volume Control" application
  2. Click on the "Input Devices" tab at the top of the settings window that appears
  3. Unlock the Front Left and Front Right channels by clicking the lock button in the top-right corner of the window
  4. Slide the Front Right slider down to silence, and adjust the front left slider until the input levels are where you want them to be.

Problems connecting to WEP-protected wireless networks

Some connections to wireless networks that use older WEP encryption with pre-shared keys must be configured properly before they will function. If you are experiencing problems connecting to WEP a WEP encrypted network, do the following:

  1. Right-click on the Network Connection icon (next to the battery icon) in the top-right corner of the screen and select "Edit Connections"
  2. Click the "Wireless" tab in the window that appears, select your wireless network, and click "Edit"
  3. Click on the "Wireless Security" tab at the top, and select "Shared Key" from the "Authentication" pop-up menu
  4. Click "Apply" and retry connecting to the wireless network

Booting off of the install key hangs with a flashing cursor on Acer AspireOne D250, HP Mini 311, and perhaps other models

The Acer AspireOne D250 and HP Mini 311 (and perhaps others) with Broadcom B/G wireless adapters have a faulty BIOS configuration that can cause them to hang intermittently on boot when attempting to install the ubermix system using the ubermix-key. To resolve this issue, follow steps 1-4 above under Installing on your System, except this time press the "esc" key on your keyboard when you see "Press ESC to enter the menu" immediately after pressing Enter on step 4. Next, do the following:

  1. Press "e" to edit the Ubermix menu option
  2. Press the down arrow to select the line that begins with "kernel"
  3. Press "e" again to edit that line
  4. Press the space bar to add a space, then type in "noapic nolapic" at the end of the line (do not type the quotation marks)
  5. Press "Enter" on your keyboard to save the change. Note that this change is temporary - these procedures must be repeated for each subsequent use of the key.
  6. Press "b" on your keyboard to boot the machine

Toshiba Netbooks

Toshiba netbooks exhibit a variety of problems, with the most prevalent being identifying the state of the headphone jack, which causes the internal speakers to turn themselves off. It is possible to get a customized kernel that works around the problem (see this bug report for details), however such a model specific customization might hamper functionality on other netbooks, and will therefore not be included in this build. Users have reported other problems with newer models, which leads us to the conclusion that these are simply not worth the trouble.

Samsung Netbooks

Samsung netbooks have generally goofy hardware configurations. An independent developer has a number of packages that make them mostly work at http://is.gd/aJgsl . To install these, follow the instructions in 4 - Customization to boot with aufs=off first, then follow the instructions at http://is.gd/aJgsl to install the repository and get the packages. Your mileage may vary, depending on the model. I have tested on the N130 and N140, and the wireless does work after install, but some of the hotkeys don't. My recommendation - avoid Samsung netbooks.

Netbooks with Z520/530 processors and/or GMA500 graphics cards

Very few netbooks come in this configuration - I've only seen these chips in the original circa 2008 Dell Mini 10, some older Dell Latitude 2100s and the Asus EeePC T91. Do not install on these models, or any other as the GMA500 graphics card is not supported.



jklein, 01/27/13 07:19 (GMT)

Add a new page under this one