Ubuntu Eee – Installation Problems

I have an Asus EeePC 701 4G. It’s now being overtaken by many other “netbooks“, but it still does me fine (despite Cassie saying it for children or girls – sexist eh? Go sister.). It came with a special Xandros Linux distro, but it was a bit haphazard, and didn’t really make best use of the small screen. I fiddled around, used the full KDE interface, installed various tools, but I’ve become tired of the Eee-specific versions of packages like Amarok and Firefox.

My desktop PC runs Ubuntu, and I’ve been happy with that, so I was intrigued to hear about the Ubuntu Netbook Remix, a version of Ubuntu tweaked for use on small-screen portable devices. I was even more intrugued to find out about Ubuntu-eee, a distro based on Ubuntu, including the Netbook Remix bits, aimed specifically at the Asus EeePC range.

So I went along to the page and have since been struggling to install it. I did post a question to the designated Launchpad site here: Ubuntu Eee question #45698: “Unetbootin segmentation fault”. But to date noone has answered, so I’m throwing the net wider. Here’s what I’ve done so far, to lay it out in case anyone fancies helping me (hint, hint).

  1. Went along to the Ubuntu-eee download page here: http://www.ubuntu-eee.com/wiki/index.php5?title=Get_Ubuntu_Eee
  2. First thing was to download the current version’s ISO file via Bittorrent from here: http://www.mininova.org/tor/1790364. Done, copied to a USB stick for backup.
  3. Then I downloaded current eeepc build of UNetbootin from Sourceforge here: http://downloads.sourceforge.net/unetbootin/unetbootin-eeeubuntu-linux-238?modtime=1214975255&big_mirror=0. Done, copied to a USB stick for backup.
  4. Ran “sudo apt-get install syslinux p7zip-full” to download required packages. Done.
  5. Ran unetbootin and nothing happened. Ran it from a terminal and saw it was getting a segmentation fault. I don’t know what that is, but I gather it is bad, so I was stuck.

At this point I was a bit miffed. I didn’t really know what to do, but I thought perhaps a clean slate would help. I had backed up everything from the machine in readiness for the OS upgrade, so I used the EeePC backup feature. The EeePC comes with a special “restore partition” which allows you to wipe the machine back to it’s factory state by getting into a boot menu by repeatedly pressing F9 during boot, and selecting “Factory Restore”. This completely replaces the OS with the factory-supplied Xandros setup.

I did the restore, and everything was back to how it was late last year when I first switched the machine on. Nice and friendly and simple. Luckily the web worked straightaway, as I was connected by Ethernet cable. Back to the installation process.

  1. Went to the download page as above.
  2. Already had the ISO on the USB backup.
  3. Already had Unetbootin on the USB backup.
  4. Ran “sudo apt-get install syslinux p7zip-full” to download required packages. No luck – it says it can’t find the packages.
  5. Ran “sudo apt-get update” to update the packages list. Tried again – no luck.

Question – what respository are these packages in?

Update 1:

  1. I added the catch-all repositories listed here: http://wiki.eeeuser.com/addingxandrosrepos?s=repositories
  2. I was then able to install syslinux, but p7zip-full still showed up “not found”
  3. Searched around, and found p7zip-full at linuxappfinder.com. A good source!
  4. Downloaded a deb file for p7zip-full
  5. Installed fine.
  6. Ran unetbootin, it complains that it needs GLIBC, whatever that is.
  7. Back to linuxappfinder, find LIBC6 which is very important apparently.
  8. Downloaded the “sarge” deb file, wouldn’t install.
  9. Downloaded the “etch” deb file, CRASHED LAPTOP.
  10. Even ps -e gives a segmentation fault.
  11. Had to hold down power button to shut down.
  12. Upon restart, fatal error regarding GLIBC. And again on reboot. Godammit.
  13. Restore EeePC from special partition. Again.

This is getting annoying.

  1. OK. Fresh new install.
  2. Straight to linuxappfinder.
  3. Installed deb file of “etch” version of syslinux.
  4. Installed deb file of “etch” version of p7zip-full.
  5. Downloaded “etch” version of libc6. Won’t install.
  6. Checked error message from unetbootin – it says “/lib/tls/libc.so.6: version ‘GLIBC_2.4’ not found”. Version 2.4?
  7. Found and downloaded an Ubuntu “edgy” version of the libc6 deb that says it’s 2.4.
  8. Guess what? It won’t install. Bugger.

Questions: What is libc? Do I already have it? Why can’t I install it? Why can’t anything be simple? Why won’t anyone from the Ubuntu-eee launchpad site help me? (that last one sounded a bit whiney)

Update 2 

  1. I asked a twitter contact for help, he responded later in the comments, and I’ll address them in a minute. Here’s what I did before going to bed.
  2. Back into the fray. I got the idea from various sites that installing build-essential may have what I need.
  3. “sudo apt-get install build-essential” – can’t find build-essential.
  4. Do I already have libc6 installed?Ran “dpkg -l | grep libc | more”. This tells me I have libc6 v2.3.6.ds1-13 installed. Unetbootin asks for 2.4.
  5. Quick search suggests changing the version of libc6 installed is a bad idea.

CURRENT SITUATION: Unetbootin needs GLIBC 2.4. I have GLIBC 2.3, and I’ve been advised against trying to change that. Another person I asked for help recommended not using Unetbootin at all, but I have no idea how else to do it. I’m just following a list of instructions after all.