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Download and Install for Netbooks

This custom UNR install requires a USB key that is at least 2Gb in size. First, download the latest image file:

Latest version:


Note: For model specific issues and configuration instructions, see the section at the bottom of this page.
Note for users of prior versions: Version .58 and higher no longer install the eee-control applet for Asus EeePCs by default. See instructions below for details on how to install if you have an Asus EeePC model netbook.

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Prior release base on Ubuntu Jaunty 9.04: http://do7.saugus.k12.ca.us/ubermix-key0.42.img


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=uberkey0.38.img of=/dev/sdX" followed by the enter key, where "X" is the letter you determined in step 3. 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=uberkey0.38.img of=/dev/diskX" replacing the "X" with the disk number from step 8. 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 INCREDIBLY 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 uberkey0.38.img file you downloaded above.
  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 Netbook

Instructions for booting a netbook from a USB key will vary from netbook to netbook, so you will want to consult the manual that cam with your netbook if the following instructions do not work for some reason. These instructions are based on the Asus EeePC.

Warning: This 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.

  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 (grey screen with a white "EeePC" in the middle on an EeePC) press the escape key to show the boot menu.
  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 Remix 9.04
  2. Apply simple updates
  3. Do both 1 & 2
  4. Fast image (both 1 & 2, format user home, no prompts)
  5. Shell prompt

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 troubleshooting.

By default, option 1 contains everything described in part 1 - Overview. For option 2, we 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

All Asus EeePC Models

The Asus EeePC has a number of hardware enhancements to improve battery life and a variety of special keys which make them unique among netbooks. To control these features, a special application called eee-control must be activated. To activate eee-control, follow the instructions on the Eee Control Updates page.

EeePC 1005HA and Acer AspireOne D250 Models

The Microphones on these models are a bit different from others, in that they are digital, rather than analog mics. This makes the input volume controls non-functional in the volume applet at the top-right corner of the screen. To control the input volume on these models, go to "Sound and Video", open the "GNOME ALSA Mixer" application, and adjust the "Digital" slider.

Toshiba NB200/NB205

These netbooks have a problem 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.

Netbooks with Broadcom Wireless Adapters (Dell Mini 10v, Acer AspireOne D150, HP Mini 110, Lenovo S10, etc.)

Unfortunately, the Broadcom driver requires custom configuration that interferes with the operation of other wireless adapters, so we don't install it on the ubermix-key by default. We do, however, include the driver with an easy script to activate it. To do so, follow the instructions on the Broadcom Wireless page.

jklein, 12/15/09 12:40 (GMT)