Originally published 2008-08-25

Xubuntu on the HP 2133 Mini-Note

After getting tired of the default SUSE on my Mini-Note, I decided to install Xubuntu (my Linux of choice). It didn't all go smoothly, following the wiki instructions, so I thought I'd write it up here. Note that these are instructions for installation from a USB drive. Doing it from an external CD drive may be easier, but I don't have one of those.

Step One: Prepare the USB Stick

This is the part that I had the most trouble with. The instructions on the wiki are way more complicated than they need to be. You really don't need a fancy script that "converts" your ISO to a USB stick. You just need to do the following:

  1. Install syslinux (apt-get install syslinux).
  2. Plug in the USB stick. Note its device name (/dev/sde1 for me).
  3. Make sure it's formatted FAT and is bootable - use fdisk or parted if needed.
  4. syslinux /dev/sde1. This installs the bootloader on the stick.
  5. Mount the USB stick somewhere: mount /dev/sde1 /mnt/usb
  6. Copy the contents of the isolinux directory on the CD to the root of the USB stick.
  7. Rename isolinux.cfg to syslinux.cfg in the root of the USB stuck.
  8. Create a directory called install in the root of the USB stick and download initrd.gz and vmlinuz from here into it.
  9. Copy the ISO for the install CD into the root of the USB stick. The installer will automatically mount and use this

These instructions were basically taken from this forum post. Thanks amx109!

Step Two: Boot from the USB Stick and Start Installing

If the first step worked, you should be able to hit F9 when booting the Mini-Note and boot from the USB stick. You can install as normal from here.

Step Three: Install the Video Drivers

When your Mini-Note boots up into Xubuntu, X probably won't start. Follow the instructions on the wiki to get the video drivers installed. Reboot. X should work now.

Step Four: CPU Scaling

The CPU scaling instructions on the wiki are basically right, but they aren't very clear on where to add the boot flags. The instructions on the MiniNoteUser wiki are better. Note that the option is acpi_os<b>i</b>, not acpi_os. I did this wrong a couple times.

Step Five: Wireless Drivers

Different Mini-Note models have different wireless modules in them, and you need different drivers for them. The wiki doesn't address this very well. Do an lspci to see what wireless module you have. Mine is a BCM4312 (rev 02). Look at this wiki page to see which driver you actually need, and download it. Then you can follow the wiki instructions, using the .exe you downloaded in place of sp38766.exe. When that's done, you should be able to use your wireless.

Step Six: Audio Drivers

The instructions on the wiki work fine for the audio drivers. Remember to turn the volume up ;-).

After all that, everything should work, and you should be happy!

Note (2008-08-26): I used the alternative install CD, because I always do. I think my instructions will work with the live install CD, but I haven't tried it.