Thursday, July 30, 2009

Install AntiX 8.2 Final on External Flash Drive

Following this tutorial without backing up your data is done at your own risk.

I own a Asus EEE 900. It is a Celeron M, clocked at 900hz,1 gig ram, with a 4gig and a 16 gig internal SSD with Xandros as the stock operating system. I wanted to keep my Xandros on here as I have customized Xandros using the EEE PC Wiki .

So I bought me a 8 gig SDHC Flash Drive. Formated it with Gparted . I formatted the whole 8 gig flash drive as a Primary EXT 2 Partition with no swap partition. I then Downloaded Antix 8.2 and took out my Kingston 2 gig USB drive I have and used it to make a bootable USB using Unetbootin. By the way, You can use a smaller flash drive like a 1 gig or even a 512 mb to make your bootable flash drive. Though on the 512 mb one, I haven't tried it so if someone does use one. Let us know.

Ok, Now my 8 gig flash drive is installed into the r/h slot on Net book. I insert my 2 gig Bootable USB drive and Power up my Asus being sure to hit escape while booting so I can get into the boot order to select the live USB as first boot.

Press Space Bar as Antix Boots up. Now on to the Install. On your install the drives may be different designations than mine. So pay attention to which drive is which. I used Gparted and wrote down the drive letters for all my drives. Because with 2 internal, and 2 external drives. It is easy to get confused. So I recommend a pencil and a piece of paper.

Press AntiX Installer off of Menu Selection.

Agree to the terms and Hit Next

Now I open Gparted again during the install process so I can flag my Hard drive as Boot. I also Label my Hard drive as root "/".

I check every thing when done. Everything Looks in order. Notice that my 8 gig Flash drive is described as sdc1. This is important to remember as we go through the install. Remember or write on a piece of paper the drive letters. You will need them later.

Now close Gparted and we are back to the installer. Remember SDC? That is where I want AntiX to install to. So on Line 1a. I select sdc using the arrow next to where it says sda. I also select custom install on existing Partitions.

I hit next. This brings me to the next page. I make sure I click the box that says "Preserve data in /home if upgrading" so that my ext2 file system won't be reformatted as EXT3 (special thanks to ICE-M in AntiX forums for this tip). I make sure sdc1 is still the destination drive also.Disregard the ext3 tab window as clicking the box preserve data in /home if upgrading nullifies that.

Hit next and Antix installer is nice enough to give you one final warning and let you know exactly where it is going to install to and also that you do not wish to format either. Once you say OK and hit next. You will be off to the races. If you say no you can start over. Nice feature I think.

Now kick back and relax. Takes just a few minutes to install Depending on your rig.

Now to install grub. I make sure I have sdc selected as boot disk and tell it to install to MBR.

Hit Next. Wait for the Grub installed OK message.

Hit OK. On to the next Page. I accept defaults and hit next.

Next page type in Computer Name and domain.

Next page sets up Keyboard and locale config.

Next page you set up user name and password and root password.

Next page is the finish line. When you hit finish. You may get a error, about naming the user directory. I just click OK and Hit finish again.

Now you get a pop up asking if you wish to continue running the Live USB/CD or reboot into the operating system. I chose not to reboot yet because I wished to shutdown completely so I could remove my Live USB Drive without hurrying.

I power up again after removing USB Drive. I make sure I hit escape to bring up my boot menu again in bios. I select my 8 gig flash drive as first boot. Every time I wish to boot up AntiX as a dual boot with Xandros, I will have to use escape button to select external 8 gig flash drive in the boot order to boot up AntiX. If I don't, it will just default to booting up Xandros. I am Welcomed with the AntiX Grub Screen. It is quite attractive. I select the top Menu item. AntiX boots. I get a grub error 15. I think in my unprofessional opinion that with 2 internal drives,and one 2 gig external USB,and 1 external 8 gig SDHC Flash card. That grub menu.lst got confused as to which drive was the boot drive for Antix. I have heard from a friend this happens with a Fedora 11 install to a external flash drive also.

I press any key to continue. Next I press the "e" key to get me to edit the grub entry for booting root. I press e again on the next page. I change the root entry (hd2,0) to (hd0,0), I press enter. Then I press the letter "b" so I can boot. Antix 8.2 Final is now booting up. I press the space bar again to continue with the booting process.

After I get to my Desktop I open Terminal. Now I used su to become root user. I typed in su without thinking. Actually you should type in sux in AntiX to become root user. But su worked for me.Hit enter. I type in my password and hit enter. I type in
leafpad /boot/grub/menu.lst
and hit enter.

That opens up my /boot/grub/menu.lst with leafpad editor so I can now edit it to boot up AntiX properly.

I proceed to edit /boot/grub/menu.lst. I like a longer default time so I change it from 15 to 30 seconds. I edit both root entries in grubs menu so I can boot up AntiX and Xandros even If I boot from AntiX Grub screen. I change the Antix at sdc1 root entry from (hd2,0) to (hd0,0). I change my Normal Boot (which is actually Xandos) root entry from (hd0,0) to (hd1,0). My /boot/grub/menu.lst now looks like the screen shot below

Here is a complete screen screenshot of what my new AntiX 8.2 /boot/grub/menu.lst looks like. I only showed the smaller window on previous screen shots because I didn't need the whole window maximized to make the changes I needed to make.

I go to close the window when done and say yes to saving my changes.

Now all that is left is to connect to the net. I open Control Panel>Network>Connect Wireless.
I first go to preferences (on top task bar) and ( scroll though tabs in preferences till I find dhclient with a empty check box) and use dhclient to connect. You need to check that box to connect. At least I had to to connect completely. I then hit the connect button to connect up wireless and check the box for automatically connect to this network.

I then test my wireless

This is how I installed AntiX 8.2 to a 8 gig SDHC External Flash Drive. This worked for me. I prefer AntiX 8.2 instead of Easy Peasy or EEEbuntu because Of the speed at which it runs on the flash drive. Both Ubuntus don't require editing the /boot/grub/menu.lst if you decide to use either of those distros following this tutorial. I just prefer AntiX. Special thanks goes to Anticapitalista and all the members at AntiX Forum who held my hand and gave me help when asked for. Thanks guys.

One last hint or note. If You boot into Xandros with the flash card drive still plugged in and it gives you the pop up window for your flash drive to open it in File Manager. Just close it first. Then Unmount your Flash Drive using the icon from your bottom Task bar. The reason I mention this, is because the next time you boot up the flash drive into AntiX or whatever you install to flash drive. The boot loader will complain that you didn't unmount the external flash drive cleanly. It will then do a disk check for errors and then reboot again. So if you want to leave the external flash drive in its slot. Make sure you unmount it before you do anything else in Xandros. You might forget later when you go to shutdown. Just a small tip.

Update Sept11, 2009

To fix undefined Video mode at boot up I opened up as root /boot/grub/menu.lst and edited vga=791 to vga=785

This line in menu.lst is what I am refering to. You can use leafpad as root to edit it like I showed in above instructions.

kernel /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.27-1-mepis-smp root=/dev/sdc1 nomce quiet nosplash vga=785

Friday, July 17, 2009

Fixing Old Gear

I own a old IBM 390E, 14.1 inch LCD Screen, Pentium 2, 366mhz, 64mb of ram, 3 gig hardrive. It had been collecting Dust in the computer room. It had been dropped by the previous owner on the left Hinge corner breaking the corner of the base to where the Hinge snapped loose and there was no plastic on the base to attach the hinge and screen to. Also the monitor would not display a screen but I checked it with a External CRT monitor and it would display with it. It had Windows ME on it. (Notice the word had)

I played with it once in a while learning about computers and Linux with it. It was my first computer 2 years ago. I ran Xubuntu and Mepis on that puppy after I put 2 128mb sticks of ram in it to bring it up to 256mb.

Today I decided I was going to fix that baby back to where it should work better than it did before it was broken.

I broke out my JB Weld Quick and started Building up the plastic with epoxy. Sanded and filed till I got a good foundation to remount the hinge to. I then drilled out the broken screws in the hinge and tapped out the holes to one size
bigger which is 6-32 screws. Fastened everything together and open and closed Laptop. Locks on display cover worked. Open and closes smoothly.Did this numerous times to make sure my chemical weld job would hold. Success there.

Next it was on to figure out why the screen wouldn't display. Pulled the Keyboard. Unscrewed 2 screws where the screen plugs into the motherboard and checked for bent pins and such. Nothing Amiss there. Next I removed the plastic outer casing that holds the LCD in place. It is a pretty involved process let me tell ya.

Anyhows fast forward a bit. Now the Hardrive is pulled, Cdrom is pulled, Battery is pulled. LCD screen can be pryed up now from back plastic of Display casing. I have replugged in the LCD where it connects to the motherboard and secured it.I hook up the AC Adapter and power that puppy up. I pry up the LCD which puts a little pressure on the ribbon Harness
that goes from the motherboard connector to the back of the LCD Screen where it connects to the screen. Yowzaa. I get
a no operating system found now displayed on the screen.

You see, when this laptop was dropped, It also messed up the connection of the ribbon cable going to the back of the
LCD Screen. I applied pressure forcing the ribbon cable to make a good connection as far as it could go into the connection housing (which is a flaky setup, but standard on glass LEDs) and took the clear pieces of Duct Tape I had
precut for this repair. And Taped up that Harness to the back of screen while applying pressure to ensure the cable was seated firmly.

To make a long blog post short. I reassembled it. Fired it up. Runs just Like new but better. Now I got another pet project done, with something to show for it. Now on for the distro dance. Though I might pop in a 8 gig Microdrive
Hardrive out of a Ipod in it to boost the gigs on it. I have a CF to IDE Laptop adapter for just that purpose. We'll see.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Google OS announced!!!!!!!!

From the OFFICIAL Google blog!! This is NOT a speculation from me or any other day-dreaming blogger!!!
They clearly say that it will be open-source and specifically Linux and that they are already talking to their partners. This is Huge news. A lot of people I know did not intend to use Linux, simply because they are lazy and wouldn't try anything new...But when I ask this simple question: "Would you try Google Linux??", their answer is always "I would try anything that comes from Google". Everyone loves or loves to hate Google, compared to other competing companies that people ...well, just hate most of the time. I can't wait to try the first beta, alpha, whatever version comes out. Can you?

So today, we're announcing a new project that's a natural extension of Google Chrome — the Google Chrome Operating System. It's our attempt to re-think what operating systems should be.

Google Chrome OS is an open source, lightweight operating system that will initially be targeted at netbooks. Later this year we will open-source its code, and netbooks running Google Chrome OS will be available for consumers in the second half of 2010. Because we're already talking to partners about the project, and we'll soon be working with the open source community, we wanted to share our vision now so everyone understands what we are trying to achieve.

Speed, simplicity and security are the key aspects of Google Chrome OS. We're designing the OS to be fast and lightweight, to start up and get you onto the web in a few seconds. The user interface is minimal to stay out of your way, and most of the user experience takes place on the web. And as we did for the Google Chrome browser, we are going back to the basics and completely redesigning the underlying security architecture of the OS so that users don't have to deal with viruses, malware and security updates. It should just work.

Google Chrome OS will run on both x86 as well as ARM chips and we are working with multiple OEMs to bring a number of netbooks to market next year. The software architecture is simple — Google Chrome running within a new windowing system on top of a Linux kernel.