View Full Version : [ubuntu] 9.04 Netbook Remix - Dell Mini 10

April 23rd, 2009, 04:33 PM
How is the compatibility with the Mini 10? I see lots of threads on the Mini 9 or 12, but none on the 10.

April 24th, 2009, 06:16 PM

April 24th, 2009, 11:35 PM
I recently got a Mini 10 and have tried various combinations of Ubuntu, Netbook remix, etc. First of all, it shares the same Poulsbo (Intel GMA 500) driver woes as the Mini 12, so you will not be able to get a full 1024x576 resolution X session with intrepid or jaunty.

Second, the UNR 1.0.1 install (based on hardy) fails to install, so I currently have never been able to get 1024x576 on this system. I've even tried using the vesa driver and setting the resolution manually, but this fails.

It seems that if you have a Mini 10, your options are to either stick with XP or to try your luck and see if you can hack UNR 1.0.1 onto the system. Oh, by the way, a plain i386 Hardy install also fails, since the live CD fails to start X. I haven't tried the alternate CD but that might be worth a shot.

If you really only want to run Jaunty, then actually the Jaunty netbook remix is not too horrible, just mostly horrible. Most of the components (webcam, wireless, two-finger multitouch on trackpad) work, but the video driver doesn't. The effect this has is that you only get a 800x576 screen, which is stretched horizontally and really limits the usability, and also a verrrrrrry slow UI if using the UME-launcher. You will want to disable it (click on User Preferences, then at the end of the list is Switch Desktop mode, which you have to set to "Classic" -- I might not have remembered the names of the options exactly, but those are the basic steps).

Even then, Gnome is quite choppy. Don't try using the webcam, it will be so slow as to be basically useless. Ditto for flash and the like. So although Jaunty works, I don't feel that it's an acceptable user experience. Currently I'm sticking with XP since at least the screen real estate is decent (1024x576).

Right now, to me, it seems that the Mini 10 is the worst off of all the Dell Mini * series (unless you're lucky enough to get it preloaded with Dell's "Belmont" Ubuntu -- I wasn't so lucky). Let me know if you have any questions.

(edit: rearranging of post to make better sense)

April 25th, 2009, 12:36 AM
Here's some background information about why there are driver troubles with the Intel Poulsbo (GMA 500) chip:

Intel GMA 500 (Poulsbo) graphics on Linux: a precise and comprehensive summary as to why you’re screwed (http://www.happyassassin.net/2009/01/30/intel-gma-500-poulsbo-graphics-on-linux-a-precise-and-comprehensive-summary-as-to-why-youre-screwed/)

April 25th, 2009, 06:29 AM
Here's some background information about why there are driver troubles with the Intel Poulsbo (GMA 500) chip:

Intel GMA 500 (Poulsbo) graphics on Linux: a precise and comprehensive summary as to why you’re screwed (http://www.happyassassin.net/2009/01/30/intel-gma-500-poulsbo-graphics-on-linux-a-precise-and-comprehensive-summary-as-to-why-youre-screwed/)

So, is this a permanent problem or is it something that will be resolved in time? I've read that Dell plans on pre-installing Ubuntu on future versions of the Mini 10. Will that depend on the community developing a work around the graphics problem?

May 8th, 2009, 04:11 PM
Any luck with Netbook remix on the Mini 10 ?

My boss just grabbed a Mini 10 and I was thinking I could wipe Win XP and install ubuntu on it.

I has a nice 1366x768 display on it !

May 9th, 2009, 12:51 PM
I am writing this on a Dell Mini 10 running jaunty. I can tell you that everything works fine... except the graphics. More on that later.

Initially, I was confused by the fact that Ubuntu recommends that you install the UNR version on all netbooks, but that is for the i386 architecture only, and I wanted to use lpia, because it's optimized for the Atom processor and has been reported to run better, and give better battery life. So I installed the Ubuntu-MID version, zapping XP with 3 ext4 partitions (/, /home and swap). Everything went very smooth and the Mini 10 sprung to life.

The MID version by default installs a very simple window manager; it seems to work fine but was unfamiliar to me (and after all, the Mini 10 is not MID device) so I installed ubuntu-desktop. It works very well. (I am actually a Kubuntu user, but KDM is not at all suited for the limited resolution on the notebook.)

Every worked out of the box: WiFi, sound, even the little camera. BUT, the machine runs at resolution 800 x 576 so images and fonts look a bit "squished".

X does not recognize the GMA500 graphics chip, so it uses the VESA driver. The native resolution on the Mini 10 is 1024 x 576, but the VESA refuses to use that resolution. I have tried various things, i.e. specifying the modeline, but to no avail. X always returns to 800 x 576. So for now, I've settled and am using that resolution. Another thing is that there's no acceleration and glxgears runs pathetically slow (25-30 fps) but the Mini 10 is perfectly usable as a netbook despite of this.

There's an effort to get the poulsbo chipset in shape (see [2]), hopefully that will result in something soon.

There is a newer version of the Mini 10 having a screen resolution of 1366 x 768 (as reported by Vesperatus), that might be compatible with the VESA driver but we need more info on that.

[1] http://cdimage.ubuntu.com/ubuntu-mid/daily-live/current/
[2] https://blueprints.edge.launchpad.net/ubuntu-mobile/+spec/poulsbo-packaging

May 9th, 2009, 01:17 PM
Dell will be selling them with a special version of Ubuntu 8.04 that supports their hardware. I bet you could find a copy of this "Dellbuntu" online and it would work much better than Jaunty for you.

May 11th, 2009, 01:22 PM
Just got my brand new Dell Mini 10 yesterday. I got it with the higher screen resolution and the 6 cell battery. I've been waiting 3 weeks to get it and install Ubuntu Remix and when I finally did it ran as slow as s***! I pretty much followed the directions for the 9.04 installation from USB key and it was pretty straight forward. However when I logged in for the first time that's when I saw the issues.

The icons were extrememly slow to refresh when moving between the different categories. So slow that as I moved to the different sections, the icons would actually appear over the previous icons so all you would see is a icons on top of each other for a good couple seconds before the previous icons disappeared. When I checked the monitor my CPU utilization was running at 100%. I thought maybe it was just loading things but I left the dell for a good 10 minuntes and when I came back it was still running high.

The weird thing is when I checked the processes it did not indicate what was taking up all the CPU. I only saw one thing at about 7% and then rest were 0. Again this is when I first logged in.

I figured it was some kind of bug so I ran updates but still the same results. I googled for a couple hours and this thread was the only one I could find specific to my problem.

I have since then quit and restored XP Home (thank goodness I make an acronis image before installing Ubuntu). I couldn't mess with it any longer since the laptop is a gift for my wife. In the meantime I will just continue to wait and look to see if maybe I did something wrong or if as mentioned here there is some issue with the Dells and 9.04.

As someone mentioned here I know Dell is supposed to start shipping this model mini 10 with Ubuntu at some point so I would assume the bugs will be worked out by then. In which time I can hopefully get a copy of that distro and install it.

May 11th, 2009, 01:37 PM
Isn't there a possibility for porting binaries from Windows into Linux as is being done with wireless cipset drivers sometimes (I used ndiswrapper in earlier versions of Ubuntu to get a broadcomm -chipset running...)?

Why is that no option on video chipsets?

May 12th, 2009, 08:25 PM
There is a mega-thread going for the mini 12, and since the mini 10 has such similar hardware it may be worthwhile following along. http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1014534

If you install jaunty, as stated the video is horrible, especially if you use the netbook remix visuals. Switch to regular desktop mode and it may be useable enough for you!
The current 'best solution' would be using intrepid. There is working 2d and 3d acceleration if you follow these simple directions: http://ubuntuforums.org/showpost.php?p=7241121&postcount=512

install intrepid
run the updates (do not enable backports or proposed sources)
add in a ppa and install poulsbo drivers, restart.

If you want compiz add "psb" to the whitelist line in /usr/bin/compiz and give your user the needed group priveledges: System -> Admin -> Users and Groups, under the permissions tab -> enable tv capture and 3d acceleration.

Hopefully there will continue to be progress toward getting jaunty up and running soon.

May 26th, 2009, 01:37 PM
Great news! The Dell Mini 10 now runs on Ubuntu 9.04 at full nominal resolution of 1024 x 576!

What has happened is that the Ubuntu Mobile Team (https://edge.launchpad.net/%7Eubuntu-mobile) has compiled and packaged kernel modules, X.org drivers, libraries to interface to kernel DRM services, etc. etc. for the Poulsbo chipset and made them available on their PPA.

http://mok0.wordpress.com/2009/05/25...ell-mini-10-2/ (http://mok0.wordpress.com/2009/05/25/ubuntu-on-the-dell-mini-10-2/)

May 27th, 2009, 03:50 AM
Does this mean that you can also run the UNR interface as well?

May 27th, 2009, 05:15 PM
No, I'm fairly certain the UNR interface is still painfully slow. The drivers do little more than provide proper resolution and smooth things over a bit.

Better than nothing, but certainly not ready for widespread use.

July 10th, 2009, 10:37 PM
Just my 2 cents about Dell's version of Ubuntu. Graphics: beautiful. Performance: beautiful. Proprietary support of multi-touch: beautiful. But it's a weirdly commercialized distro with some show-stoppers for me. For example, my Sprint AirCard didn't work. The Connection Manager had easy setup for T-Mobile or AT&T, but not for Sprint. And tech support, of course, had no idea how to solve the problem. So I installed UNR (9.04) and traded away beauty for function. My AirCard of course worked out of the box, no configuration needed. But the display is annoying, multi-touch is gone, and it's now slower than my Asus 8G (7" version).

I'm annoyed that Dell has co-opted Ubuntu in this way. I had high hopes that they would distribute a real Ubuntu, not a crippled commercial plastic zombie. I have more faith in the open-source community's ability to fix the display and performance and give me back multi-touch than I do in Dell's willingness to support a real distro instead of one geared toward their partner relationships.