Posts Tagged ‘Eee Box B202’

Installing Ubuntu 10.04

May 16th, 2010 1 comment

I was kind of looking forward to the new Ubuntu 10.04 aka Lucid Lynx. New LTS version with promising features and a good occasion to redo my badly partitioned desktop computer. I had not thought of the additional space requirements of a 64 bit Linux, so the partitioned 8GB for the root system were not really enough.

Seeing that the new incompatible MythTV version in 10.04 would require me to do at least my desktop and the mediahub computer in one go, I did not do the install immediately but put it on my TODO list. So my first actual exposure to Ubuntu 10.04 was last week, when I tried to get it installed on my new company laptop.

First their were strange issues with the computer not booting anymore. After some searching I discovered that Grub was creating a /boot/grub/grub.cfg file that was somehow broken, because it kept changing its name every time I listed it from the Grub shell. Suddenly its name would be «grub.cfgw» or even stranger something like «grub.cfg ☺~_.q». The issue could be fixed by booting from the cd in rescue mode, moving the “grub.cfg” to “grub.cfg.bogus” and copying it back. Maybe just touching it would have been enough, too.

But then I was facing hard crashes related to the intel video driver which could just not be fixed. Either randomly or consistently every time I either had an external monitor connected at bootup or connected it afterwards and pressed “Detect monitors”, the laptop would crash hard and needed to be force-shutoff.

I tried finding a way to fix it, tried reverting back to 9.10, changing to newer driver versions, nothing helped. So in the end, I had to give up and give the laptop back to our IT guys.


Given those troubles I was kind of afraid of rolling it out in my local LAN. But it was nearly problem-free. On my desktop computer, the graphics  mode was kind of borked. Linux believed to be correctly displaying a 1680×1050 display while the monitor seemd to disagree and switch to some 1680×900 mode that would cut off the lower part of the desktop. That issue vanished with the proprietary nvidia drivers though. The graphics pad was auto-discovered flawlessly. The only thing that was missing was actually to select the rubber tool for the rubber tip and save that. Since I have two sound cards in the desktop, I blacklisted the driver for the on-board sound-card by creating a /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist-intel-sound.conf with

blacklist snd_hda_intel

to not have to ease audio device configuration. After that only the one correct sound card is visible to Linux and I don’t need to configure ALSA and Pulse etc to use the correct device. Configuring the gnome multi-media and MythTV to use both Pulse Audio solved the issue of MythTV blocking Rhythmbox or Flash from playing sound even in paused mode.

The installation on the Eee Box B202 was also almost trouble free. Initially I had problems with MythTV because I forgot to install the mythtv-database package which led to the database not being created in MySQL (D’oh). Then MySQL wasn’t listening on all IPs ( because it need to be restarted. The remote control of my DVB-T stick ( TerraTec Cinergy DT USB XS Diversity , newer hardware-rev) needed its usual

options dvb_usb_dib0700 dvb_usb_dib0700_ir_proto=0

which I wrote into a newly created /etc/modprobe.d/terratec-remote.conf.

All in all much less trouble than I feared.

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Installing Ubuntu Karmic Koala

October 31st, 2009 4 comments

I have been looking forward to Thursday’s release of Ubuntu 9.10, code name Karmic Koala, for some time now. CouchDB integrated into the desktop — sweet!

The actual install overall went really smooth. Installer got streamlined a bit more and now carries over the initial language selection to defaults for time zone and keyboard settings. Most complicated about it was my chaotic partition layout on my dev machine. Installation went all fine, all devices recognized. At first I had problems with my Wacom Bamboo graphics tablet because copying over the old config created double entries for all devices, making X choke and kill my USB mouse. Just commenting out the entries in my X config solved that problem. I just had to redo the basic configuration from Gimp by invoking the Gimp Preferences Dialog under Edit -> Preferences, select input devices in the tree, then “Configure Extended Input Devices”. There I just set the mode of all auto-discovered wacom devices to “Screen”. (not “Window” or “Disabled”).

Things turned out to be a bit more work than initially planned when I discovered that the MythTV frontend from karmic wouldn’t connect to my mediahub computer, a Eee Box B202 with dual DVB-T tuner ( TerraTec Cinergy DT USB XS Diversity , newer hardware-rev). After the initial troubles I had first getting the DVB-T to work perfectly, I was really not eager to change anything about that system.. In fact it was still running an updated EasyPeasy 1.0.

But my fears were totally unfounded. The DVB-T stick was now auto-discovered and there just needed one module option to be added in a newly created /etc/modprobe.d/options :

options dvb_usb_dib0700 dvb_usb_dib0700_ir_proto=0

This sets the remote control protocol to NEC, which is something my remote control needs. Everything else basically worked out of the box. I just had to configure MythTV and tell it the two DVB front end devices and EIT create video sources and connect those two. After copying over the randomly generated mySQL password to the laptop, I was back at my old setup.

What changed is that both computers now boot a lot faster and look a lot prettier, even using only graphics that come with Karmic Koala

Congratulations to the ubuntu team for producing such a fine new ubuntu version, better than ever.


update: added more details for the wacom configuration process.

My media hub

February 22nd, 2009 No comments

I’ve been thinking about the idea of a small, low-power media pc for the living room for quite some time now. when I saw the eee box, I knew that I would like to try to build a system based on it.

My plans are now entering the final stages after a long and diffcult journey. Both delivery problems (the eee took about 3 months to be actually delivered) and an unusual amount of linux driver problems were the main causes of this.

The components I got in the end were:

  • Asus Eee Box B202
  • One “Terratec Cynergy DT USB XS Diversity”, a dual DVB-T tuner USB stick
  • an external DVD rewriter

Read more…