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Author Topic: Linux Distro and MSI Wind  (Read 12744 times)

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tron^qld

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Linux Distro and MSI Wind
« on: 14-September-08, 06:25:34 »

Hi all,

First post here,...

I have looked through the threads and was unable to find anything relating to my question, so if there is and I missed it apologies now...

What I am wanting to know is, what linux distros have ppl put on the Winds that can run the 1024x600 res natively, I have found the Ubuntu remix, but I have got lost with what needs to be done and what info there is, it all relates to the Asus EEEpc. So please comments regarding the different distros that are out there for these machines, and yes I have been using Ubuntu 8.04.1 on my home machine and haven't had any problems with it.

Thanks in advance.
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Re: Linux Distro and MSI Wind
« Reply #1 on: 15-September-08, 20:05:52 »

Well MSI uses this on the desktop Wind machines: http://global.msi.com.tw/index.php?func=proddesc&prod_no=1606&maincat_no=134

SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 10.1

First time MSI starts supporting Linux actively!! :hat tip:
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tron^qld

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Re: Linux Distro and MSI Wind
« Reply #2 on: 16-September-08, 00:12:29 »

Hey BAS, thanks for that, is SuSE a decent OS or should I be looking at something else, I have also found that foresight do a linux for the netbook.

The biggest thing that I found was when looking at the screen shots that they seem to 'dumb down' the distro, that is but making the desktop with big icons that all you need to do is click on and then the computer does the rest... is there anything like that or am I dreaming and wishing that I could write code and make my own...
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umarzuki

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Re: Linux Distro and MSI Wind
« Reply #3 on: 16-September-08, 09:51:48 »

Why don't you try for yourself instead. Try installing Debian and see if it's working. Safe bet: use Testing.
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Re: Linux Distro and MSI Wind
« Reply #4 on: 16-September-08, 15:39:10 »

I would use Ubuntu myself, as that's Debian but better for desktop.
As it's Debian it has the best support of all Linux's.
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Cool01

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Re: Linux Distro and MSI Wind
« Reply #5 on: 17-September-08, 06:30:22 »

From what I understand, if you want to use a Linux OS on an Atom based computer, you want to use the "2.6.27" kernel.  Earlier kernels can work, but the "27" is the first that "officially" supports this processor.

I think Ubuntu's "8.04.1" version supports the "27" kernel.  Incidentally, Dell's new Mini comes with Ubuntu, so I expect that they got an extra push from Dell to support the processor.

Mostly, the other distributions do not have the "27" kernel yet in their "Released" versions.  I think Fedora 10 (beta) is on "27".  I know that OpenSuSE 11.1 is on "27", but it is just getting to its first Beta release right about now.

There is a Wiki page available for loading OpenSuSE 11.0 onto the Acer Aspire One (which is an "Atom" processor machine).  There might be a page with loading advice for the Wind too, but I do not remember off hand.
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tron^qld

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Re: Linux Distro and MSI Wind
« Reply #6 on: 19-September-08, 09:32:18 »

Thanks for that Cool01, I have finally downloaded Ubuntu so I will be loading it up on this second partition once I get the USB drive as a bootable drive...
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Cool01

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Re: Linux Distro and MSI Wind
« Reply #7 on: 20-September-08, 06:05:21 »

Thanks for that Cool01, I have finally downloaded Ubuntu so I will be loading it up on this second partition once I get the USB drive as a bootable drive...

At this point, this will not matter, but I checked the Ubuntu website and I was wrong.  The "27" Kernel is not a part of the "8.04.1" distribution.  However, as I have said before, that does not mean it will not work.  Since you have it, well, you can tell us. . . .
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tron^qld

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Re: Linux Distro and MSI Wind
« Reply #8 on: 21-September-08, 11:32:55 »

Yeh well I have finally installed Ubuntu, I haven't installed the 27 kernel, I am still playing around with the original distro, but one thing that I have found is the power management isn't that great compared to XP, but I am sure that once I get the 27 Kernel going might fix that up, just have to see about how to load it on here...

Will have to do some searching round on that one, still new to loading packages and compiling the kernel, well I haven't actually compiled a kernel yet... just always ran the apt-get package manager...
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Re: Linux Distro and MSI Wind
« Reply #9 on: 21-September-08, 16:52:28 »

You don't need to compile the kernel, won't bring you anything.
Better activate the proper repositories and simply install the kernel.
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Re: Linux Distro and MSI Wind
« Reply #10 on: 21-September-08, 17:02:51 »

You don't need to compile the kernel, won't bring you anything.
Better activate the proper repositories and simply install the kernel.

Agree with you on that Bas, Anyone who has tried to compile a kernal knows theres alot of stuff in there to deal with and can take hours to google and figure out what stays and what doesnt.
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tron^qld

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Re: Linux Distro and MSI Wind
« Reply #11 on: 22-September-08, 00:17:18 »

Yeh but the repository that I use only has the '24' kernel, it hasn't updated to the latest. Any idea what resp that may have the '27' Kernel???

My other option is to go back to Windoze till the new kernel comes out, it is fairly critical for me to have the battery life...
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Re: Linux Distro and MSI Wind
« Reply #12 on: 22-September-08, 05:54:16 »

Did you open up the other repositories?
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tron^qld

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Re: Linux Distro and MSI Wind
« Reply #13 on: 23-September-08, 03:56:45 »

Did you open up the other repositories?

I set the package manager to look for the internode server, other than that, I just run the synaptic package manager, will have a look when I get home today...
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Cool01

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Re: Linux Distro and MSI Wind
« Reply #14 on: 23-September-08, 05:26:26 »

Short Answer:

I spent some time looking for a policy statement regarding kernel updates on Ubuntu's Website and I could  not find one.  That does not mean they did not post one, but that finding something like this can be hard.  If you are interested, you will have to look for it yourself.

A Bit More Info:

Different distributions have different policies about updating Kernels.  And the policies can change.  In general, Red Hat used to patch whatever Kernel came with a distribution.  However, on some occasions, they actually did upgrade from one Kernel to another within a distribution.  At least I think I can recall such an event.  But it was rare.

OpenSuSE policy is NO updates within a distribution.  That is to say, for 10.3, which I think came with the "22" kernel, you will never see 10.3 upgraded beyond that.  But there will be patches to the kernel.  However, that does not mean that some specific upgrading will not occur within a kernel.  For example, the "Atom" support.  As long as there is no really substantial programming involved, it is reasonable to assume that the OpenSuSE guys could add "Atom" support to their version of the "22" kernel.  In fact, they could add as much support as is found in the "27" kernel.  It depends.

What Is "Atom" Support?

The question is, what exactly is there in supporting the "Atom"?  As far as I know, the "Atom" does not add any new processor instructions.  Also, I think it has a full set of "Core 2" instructions.  So any program that runs on "Core 2" should run on an "Atom".  From a programmer's point of view, the only difference between "Atom" and "Core 2" is probably a set of data tables used by various programs to identify which instruction sets to use.  On most Linux distributions *you* chose the instruction sets when you chose "i386" or "i586" or "x86_64" versions, or when you compile the software.  So probably it does not matter that much whether you get the "27" kernel.

About Power Control:

OpenSuSE 10.2 did not have much power control.  I think it was a choice of "on" or "off".  I have not looked at the controls for 10.3 yet.  Do not expect that much in the way of controls for Ubuntu either.  I doubt if they have the level of control in Windows yet.  It probably has not been a priority.  It is probably not a Kernel issue.

More About Ubuntu:

At the end of October, version 8.10 will be released.  This is not an "LTS" version.  This means that it will not be supported as long as 8.04.  However, it will have the "27" Kernel.  If you want, you can use 8.04.1 for the next month or so, and then replace it with 8.10.  However, I expect that in the long run, the Kernel "support" will not be different.  The "Atom" processor has become so important that I think the "24" kernel will be patched to the same support level for "Atom" as the "27" kernel.

You could check Ubuntu's Forums to see if anything is said about that.
« Last Edit: 23-September-08, 05:30:49 by Cool01 »
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tron^qld

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Re: Linux Distro and MSI Wind
« Reply #15 on: 23-September-08, 13:24:25 »

well I am back to writing this in XP as when I up dated the kernel it dropped the wireless connection and I am unable to get it back up and running with the wireless, so not sure what I have done, I have updated from the 19 to the 22 (I think that was what it updated to...) and I was able to get it to run after a blue cable connection, but after rebooting it doesnt seem to want to recognise it... So I am now thinking to start back from scratch reloading it on here and take it step by step again... I am not sure what I have done other than run the unstable repos (well I think I just answered my own question...) haha... so I am going to start afresh and go from there, ahh I love this just deleted the USB stick as well with the linux distro on it, but also in saying that I am perhaps thinking of loading another distro on it...

So my question to you all is what one should I try now??? I was thinking of Debian, but then there is Foresight, which apparently has been designed for the netbook range...

So I am open to suggestions...
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Cool01

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Re: Linux Distro and MSI Wind
« Reply #16 on: 24-September-08, 17:49:15 »

I have taken a quick look at the situation and I have little to say beyond what has been posted so far.

Enterprise SuSE 10:

This *might* work.  Apparently, MSI is selling Wind units with this pre-installed.  But if you read this forum, then you know about as much about it as I do.  However, keep in mind that Enterprise SuSE 10 is a *commercially supported* distribution.  Even if you get a copy, you will have to pay for a subscription to get updates.  I assume that people who get Enterprise SuSE 10 pre-installed get a free update subscription for some length of time.

Beta Versions:

If you feel that you would like to participate in Beta testing, a number of projects are currently available.  However, you should realize that the number of problems you will encounter might leave you with a system that has no value beyond the amusement of turning it on, finding a bug and reporting it, and trying to help the programming crew fix it.

OpenSuSE 11.1Beta1
This became available 2008/09/24.  It is available for download in the form of a DVD ISO.  I will not be taking part in the Beta process at this time because I cannot dowload a DVD ISO.  I need about 3 1/2 hours to download a CD ISO.  A DVD would literally take days, and it would probably fail, making it a complete waste of time.  Strong point:  OpenSuSE 11.1 will be on the "27" kernel.

Fedora 10 Beta 1
This was also supposed to be available 2008/09/24, however, when I checked, I did not find it.  It might be late.  I do not know how it will be distributed.  I *believe* that I read that it will be on the "27" kernel but when I looked for that point yesterday I could not find it.  Again, that does not mean it is not still written somewhere, but I gave up before I found it.  Since I do not know how the Beta is being distributed, it is unlikely I will take part in the Beta process.

For both Fedora 10 and OpenSuSE 11.1, final completion dates are around December, so expect them to have a lot of bugs.

Ubuntu 8.10
I do not understand how there Beta distribution works.  Apparently you have to register to become part of their Beta testing team.  I could not even figure out if you download it as an ISO or if you need to do a full Net install.  If you are interested, check their website and see what you find.  However, I see that, on the one hand, their 8.10 distribution is still in late Alpha stage, but should be in early Beta shortly (probably within days).  On the other hand, because they are projecting a final distribution date at the end of October (earlier than either Fedora or OpenSuSE), I expect that they probably have not made many changes compared to 8.04.1, and probably have fewer current bugs.  But that is just a guess.  What is not a guess is that it will definitely include the "27" kernel.  I will not take part in this Beta test either.

Final Word:

The earliest "Final Release" projected that you can expect to be fairly complete is Ubuntu 8.10.  The rest are expected about a month and a half later.  For now, you can stay with XP and get work done, participate in a Beta for the "fun" of of it, or try to get 8.04.1 working satisfactorily.  I give no advice.  I have only stated the situation.  The choice is yours.
« Last Edit: 24-September-08, 17:51:28 by Cool01 »
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tron^qld

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Re: Linux Distro and MSI Wind
« Reply #17 on: 25-September-08, 01:06:06 »

No thanks for that Cool01,

I am thinking that I might just kill off the linux partition now and go back to Xp for the time being.

I did try and install Foresight Mobile 1.0, but the install failed on me and after reading around I can't seem to find a work around for it.

So I will keep my eyes peeled for the 8.10 Ubuntu release and go from there.
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Cool01

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Re: Linux Distro and MSI Wind
« Reply #18 on: 13-November-08, 21:57:02 »

First a very important correction:

I previously said that the Atom processor in the Wind supported 64-bit instruction.  It does not.  It only supports Pentium 4 (32-bit) instructions.  I was confused by some early material I read on the Atom processors.  Only *some* Atom processors support 64-bit and the N270 which is in most of the current "Netbook" computers is not one of them.  On the other hand, the N270 uses less power and is even cheaper to make than the 64-bit versions, which can be an advantage in the Netbook market.

Some Current Linux Information:

[Note:  If I post another summary about Linux versions in the future I will probably open a new Topic, since this topic was specifically about the Wind.]

Debian 4.0x:

Debian "etch" re-released on Oct 23.  The original release of "etch" was a long time ago (2007?) now, and came with the 2.6.18 Kernel.  It was re-released July 26, and updated to the 2.6.24 kernel.  The latest re-release, seems to be a consolidation of bug fixes.  Regarding the MSI Wind, because of the Kernel, one suspects that there might not be full support for the Wind hardware, but ASUS is using Xandros for the EeePC (pretty much the same hardware as the Wind), which is based on Debian, so it is possible that the hardware support has been added.

Fedora 10:

The preview release was Nov. 4, and the final release is expected Nov. 25.  I have heard some positive comments about this release, but then again, with only a couple of weeks of use, those comments are based on fairly early impressions.  I did eventually try Fedora 9, (32-bit) on one of my computers (not an MSI Wind), and got it to work at first, then when I updated it, it self destructed (became unbootable).  This is probably just a single bug, most likely in a Kernel update package, but it was quite discouraging, so I never tried it again.  But Fedora 9 had a particularly bad reputation.  Comments suggest that more care is being taken with Fedora 10 to re-build their reputation.

OpenSuSE 11.1:

OpenSuSE has had a bad time with this version because their development server (yes, the actual server they use in-house to develop OpenSuSE) was hit by a bad power outage which wasted days of work.  Beta release 3 and 4 were delayed, and now they had added an unscheduled "Beta 5".  I have not seen a revised schedule, but I expect they are putting off the final release, probably till January 2008.  I have seen Beta 5 (32-bit) and it looks quite ambitious.  My experience with 10.3 in 64-bit has so-so.  It has not had really serious crashing issues, but there have been minor bugs that have not been cleaned up.  In particular, the Synaptics touchpad adjusting software does not work, and that is, what?  90% of all the laptops sold for the last couple of years?  11.0 was as bad or worse than 10.3 in that respect.  So they have a lot of work to do to re-build their reputation as well (see my comment re Fedora 9 above).  It does appear that they are taking the time needed to get this one done right.  I do feel that the Desktop for OpenSuSE is better for laptops than Fedora and Ubuntu, because it does not use a "top panel and bottom panel" arrangement (the upper and lower bars on the screen).  It only uses the bottom panel.  They have created a "slab menu" which comes up like the Windows "start" menu, but is different.  This means that more of the screen is actually usable by applications, which is very important on these "Widescreen" (translate that as "Shortscreen") displays.
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Cool01

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Re: Linux Distro and MSI Wind
« Reply #19 on: 13-November-08, 22:03:35 »

Ubuntu 8.10:

This has been released.  I have not read comments about it yet, but what I have said before seems to be correct.  On the one hand, it did not change that much from 8.04, but on the other hand, because of this, it seems to be quite stable.  Anyway, the Wind should be able to use it without issues, and if there are issues, I expect them to be fixed quickly.
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Cool01

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Re: Linux Distro and MSI Wind
« Reply #20 on: 27-November-08, 00:01:04 »

Fedora 10 is now available.  I am surprised.  It is early.  I downloaded the LiveCD and tried it on a computer (not an MSI Wind) and all I can say is that it seemed ok that far (it booted and ran).  I will not be installing it on anything right now, so that is all I can say about it.

Has anyone actually tried Ubuntu 8.10 or Fedora 10 on a Wind yet?

OpenSuSE will have have something out this weekend.  It will either be "11.1 Beta 6" or "11.1 RC1".  From what I have seen, I expect that most of the serious bugs will have been squashed.  If you are a very experienced computer user, it would be a good time to get involved with testing this one.  The programmers seem to be concentrating on it, so that if you find a genuine bug in something that is important to you, there is a good chance it will be fixed quickly.  Also, for netbooks, and particularly the Wind, it would be a good idea to see if the hardware limits are causing special problems.
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Cool01

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Re: Linux Distro and MSI Wind
« Reply #21 on: 19-December-08, 02:53:59 »

OpenSuSE 11.1 Final is now available for download.  As I have been saying, apart from Debian (which is not known for keeping current), this is the last of the more popular distributions to use the 2.6.27 kernel, and thus supports most of the Netbooks using the Intel Atom processor -- including the Wind models.

If you try to download it within the next 24 hours, well, good luck. . . . I would suggest waiting for a day or two.
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