The Caboteria / Tech Web / GnuLinuxForTecsChange / UbuntuInstallationNotes (11 Sep 2010, TobyCabot)
A bunch of folks from TecsChange are experimenting with the process of installing Ubuntu 6.06 on a variety of laptops. Here are some notes from the process.


128M is the minumum memory that you can use with the graphical desktop. Really. 256M is a big improvement over 128M.

If you want to upgrade a 5.10 installation to 6.06 using a CD you need to use the "alternate" install disc. The "live" install disc won't work. Otherwise you'll need to use the network, which can take many hours on a slow connection.

For old/slow machines it's probably a good idea to disable the screensaver, or at least change it to "Blank Screen Only". Some of the X screensavers use huge quantities of CPU. ( System->Preferences->Screensaver )

Don't forget to install languages ( System->Administration->Language Support )

If you want to install the proprietary Flash plugin you'll need to enable the multiverse repository and install flashplugin-nonfree.


If you're able to, use an external modem on the serial port.

The ubuntu graphical config tool is brittle. It works, but if anything goes wrong it doesn't give you any feedback, and claims that the interface is active. It's a good idea to get things working with minicom first and then move over to the graphical config tools.

Dial: ATDT<number>
hang up: ATH0

Maverick (10.10)

This is the first release that supports MAC spoofing which I need for my cable service. The network manager applet seems to be very fussy and is prone to disappear from the notification area. In my case it turns out that I had some config data in /etc/network/interfaces and so NM applet passive-aggressively just decided to take its ball and go home. This helped:

Move the window frame controls back to where they should be:

Play DVD's:

Laptop Model Specific

Thinkpad 770E

No sound. Everything else works.

Thinkpad 600E

6.06 installation from the live disk didn't work. "ubiquity" hung after choosing the keyboard. There was a zombie process that looked like an X keyboard selection program (but I didn't write it down at the time). Installation from the 5.10 disc worked fine, so I expect that text-mode installation of 6.06 would also work.

Sound didn't work out-of-the-box. Followed the instructions in the HOWTO below and that did the trick. Note that when I followed the instruction on some other pages to turn quick boot off that seemed to mess up the network interface. - HOWTO get sound working

Dell Latitude CPi 266XT

<fn>-F1 at boot time to get into the BIOS config.

Tried to use a 3com 3C562B/3C563B network card but had no luck. Not sure what the problem was. Appeared to configure fine, but couldn't see any traffic.

Not sure if I got a bad CDROM drive, but upgrading over a network was faster than reading the files from the CD. _(update: it was a bad drive - I swapped it and it worked fine)

Ubuntu configures X with 24-bit colors but this machine doesn't have enought memory to support that, so you end up with a display running at 800x600 which is very ugly. You need to dpkg-reconfigure xserver-xorg and set the pixel depth to 16 to get the panel's native 1024x768.

Dell Inspiron 3500

No sound -

Couldn't get it working. snd_nm256 was the only driver that would load without errors, but there still weren't any devices available after it loaded. - some notes from the wayback machine

Dell Inspiron 7500

Xircom double-height PCMCIA ethernet/modem card (RBEM56G-100) works great for Ethernet, also the RBE-100 double-height ethernet card. xircom-tulip-cb kernel module. XE2000 ethernet card doesn't seem to work.

The installer asked for the resolutions at which to run. I added 1400x1050 and 1280x1024 to the defaults because I didn't know what the resolution of the panel was. It turned out that the installer knew best, since the resolutions I picked were higher than the panel could support.

Sound worked!

Toshiba Portege 7010CT (with docking station)

Resolution too low, but dpkg-reconfigure xserver-xorg and set the resolution to 1024x768 and bit depth to 16.

The ethernet interface in the docking station works fine.

Sound works!

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