I am not very experienced in all the configuration with linux. One of them that gives me headache all the time is about the encoding (UTF-8, ISO, etc.) and the keyboard-layout (german, swiss german, us, etc.).

Now, I found out that I need to manipulate (tried on sidux, but should work on ubuntu and debian as well) three packages to ensure that my swiss-german keyboard layout is used on the ttys and within the graphical window system.

I used the following three commands (with root or sudo) and chose the “correct” stuff to make it work with my swiss german keyboard:

dpkg-reconfigure locales (choose only the necessary utf-8 stuff)
dpkg-reconfigure console-data (swiss german latin it is)
dpkg-reconfigure console-setup (swiss german latin it is)

I was asked the “right” questions to ensure that my language and my keyboard layout will work.

This blog entry is mainly for me to remember and all of you who just might to get a starting clue to get things done…

Ubuntu 8.04.1 on x200

I downloaded ubuntu 8.04.1 alternate install CD and installed Hardy Heron on the x200, sucessfully so far. Wireless did NOT work out of the box, however. And I have also issues with the Intel Graphics x4500. The Desktop itself seems to work nicely, but my tests with world of warcraft were disappointing, even though glxgear was pretty good.

Wireless wroked by using the firmware of iwl5000 and using compat-wireless (for kernel older than 2.6.27).

Guess I need to try Ubuntu 8.10 beta…can not really wait for the release…;)

My new little toy…the Thinkpad x200 from Lenovo

I bought two new laptops, one of them being the new Lenovo Thinkpad x200. I bought it at, a website selling rather good equiped (not standard, they are better equiped usually) for students (and former students).

The other laptop is the t400, however, let us stick with the x200 for now.

My x200 has the following spec (using lspci of Ubuntu 8.04.1, which does not recognize all of the hardware with its kernel 2.6.24).

  • CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo P8400 2.26 GHz (3MB L2 cache, 800MHz FSB) (Montevina)
  • Chipset: Intel GM45/ICH9-ME
  • Memory: 2GB DDR2 667MHz (1x 2048MB)
  • Hard Drive: 250GB GB SATA
  • Screen: 12.1″ widescreen 1280×800 LCD, 200 nits of brightness
  • No built-in Optical Drive (got an external one included)
  • GPU: Intel X4500 Integrated Graphics
  • Network/Wireless: Intel Wi-Fi Link 5300 (802.11 a/b/g/n) 1Gb Ethernet Card, Bluetooth and 56 Kbps modem
  • Inputs: 95 Key Keyboard with Three Button Touchpoint
  • Buttons: Power, ThinkVantage, Volume Up and Down, Mute, and WiFi/Bluetooth On/Off Switch.
  • Slots:ExpressCard/54mm, SD 5-in-1 reader
  • Battery: Nine Cell Cylindrical
  • Dimensions (with large 9-cell battery in):
    • Width: 11.61 inches
    • Depth: 9.2 inches
    • Thickness: 0.8-in – 1.4 inches
  • Weight:
    • 9-cell battery starting at 1.63 kg / 3.58 lbs
  • Operating System: Ubuntu 8.04.1, but will be upgraded to Ubuntu 8.10 because of driver issues
  • Web-cam, fingerprint reader, 56Kbps modem, 5-in-1 card reader

my lspci says:

00:00.0 Host bridge: Intel Corporation Cantiga Memory Controller Hub (rev 07)
00:02.0 VGA compatible controller: Intel Corporation Cantiga Integrated Graphics Controller (rev 07)
00:02.1 Display controller: Intel Corporation Cantiga Integrated Graphics Controller (rev 07)
00:03.0 Communication controller: Intel Corporation Cantiga MEI Controller (rev 07)
00:03.2 IDE interface: Intel Corporation Cantiga PT IDER Controller (rev 07)
00:03.3 Serial controller: Intel Corporation Cantiga AMT SOL Redirection (rev 07)
00:19.0 Ethernet controller: Intel Corporation 82567LM Gigabit Network Connection (rev 03)
00:1a.0 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801I (ICH9 Family) USB UHCI Controller #4 (rev 03)
00:1a.1 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801I (ICH9 Family) USB UHCI Controller #5 (rev 03)
00:1a.2 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801I (ICH9 Family) USB UHCI Controller #6 (rev 03)
00:1a.7 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801I (ICH9 Family) USB2 EHCI Controller #2 (rev 03)
00:1b.0 Audio device: Intel Corporation 82801I (ICH9 Family) HD Audio Controller (rev 03)
00:1c.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 82801I (ICH9 Family) PCI Express Port 1 (rev 03)
00:1c.1 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 82801I (ICH9 Family) PCI Express Port 2 (rev 03)
00:1c.3 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 82801I (ICH9 Family) PCI Express Port 4 (rev 03)
00:1d.0 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801I (ICH9 Family) USB UHCI Controller #1 (rev 03)
00:1d.1 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801I (ICH9 Family) USB UHCI Controller #2 (rev 03)
00:1d.2 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801I (ICH9 Family) USB UHCI Controller #3 (rev 03)
00:1d.7 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801I (ICH9 Family) USB2 EHCI Controller #1 (rev 03)
00:1e.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 82801 Mobile PCI Bridge (rev 93)
00:1f.0 ISA bridge: Intel Corporation ICH9M-E LPC Interface Controller (rev 03)
00:1f.2 SATA controller: Intel Corporation ICH9M/M-E SATA AHCI Controller (rev 03)
00:1f.3 SMBus: Intel Corporation 82801I (ICH9 Family) SMBus Controller (rev 03)
03:00.0 Network controller: Intel Corporation Unknown device 4236

Installation Xubuntu 8.04.1 on Asus EEE 901

I finally decided to order an Asus EEE PC 901 (12 GB SSD with Windows XP preinstalled) a few weeks ago. Unfortunately – and that is maybe I am just too inpatient – there was no offer for the 901 with a 16 GB SSD and Linux preinstalled.

Nevertheless, I managed to actually install xubuntu 8.04.1 by copying the iso of the desktop-installer (not the alternative CD-iso) on a 4 GB USB stick using on of the many scripts available on the net ( is it called).

The SSD is divided into a 4 GB SSD and a 8 GB SSD. I installed xubuntu on the 4 GB SSD and ended up with about 1.5 GB free disk while I am using the 8 GB disk as my /home. That all was done with the desktop installer I never used before, but was actually rather surprised how well it worked.

Not everthing works out of the box unfortunately. However, there is a website that helped me (and surely a lot others, too!) quite a lot. The website offers a kernel-image which includes the necessary modules to make actually everything run smoothly so far. There are also scripts which can be used to make the buttons and special keys work as they suppose to. The webcam needed some more treatment as the BIOS disabled it be default. I had to enable it….

Well, I am running Xubuntu 8.04.1 with rather many pieces of software to make that little netbook a nice tool while on route. The next thing will be trying to get that Expresscard-Modem up and running…

How much space does Xubuntu/Ubuntu use?

I consider buying a netbook, one of those small thingies that run with an Atom Intel CPU and a SSD harddisk.
The latter is pretty important to me, because otherwise I could buy just a little notebook and give that a go.

I have not yet decided what kind of netbook I will choose and buy, there are plenty to choose out there. As a help I wanted to find out how much space Xubuntu and Ubuntu are going to use on the harddisk.

I am using virtualbox 1.6.4 and a fixed-sized harddisk of 8 GB to evaluate this. Before each df -h I clean the cache of all deb packages, hopeing that this will help to make the numbers a bit more trustworthy.  Furthermore I am using the 8.04.1 Xubuntu alternate ISO.

Of course these numbers are not totally accurate and I am sure there is a lot of tweaking possible. However, tweaking is what I want to do, not need to do because I run out of diskspace….

Diskspace needed after a clean install of Xubuntu 8.04.1: 1.6 GB
Diskspace needed after a clean install of Xubuntu 8.04.1 and updates: still 1.6 GB
Diskspace needed after installing some more software: 1.8 GB
Diskspace needed after installing some media stuff: about 2.0 GB
Diskspace needed after installing kopete and gftp: about 2.05 GB
Diskspace needed after installing ubuntu-desktop: about 3.1 GB
Diskspace needed after installing kubuntu-desktop: about 4.2 GB

Media stuff installed included some players (such as xine, mpeg123, vlc, etc.) and codecs (win32codecs, etc.), mainly also the restricted-stuff…
The additionally installed software included thunderbird, nmap, wireshark, mysql5.0, apache2, kernel-headers, virtualbox and some more.

I can very well work with xfce and additional 400 to 500 MB worth of software. So after using about 2.1 GB I would still have about 10 GB (most of the netbooks come with a 12 GB SSB now) left for films, data and so on.

Stormy weather

Yesterday night the weather started to turn against us, at least it may seem so.

Until now (well, from monday to sunday that is) we were blessed with rather hot weather and sunshine. One might say that it was too hot and too sticky, but at least it was good weather.

Yesterday night wind came up and reached a rather critical power. I have been told that most of the subcamps had to put down the larger constructions and we, at the staff camp, had troubles with our tents as well.

It started at about 7pm and actually went on the whole night until now at about 11am. Sometimes it rained, sometimes the wind blew pretty hard. Fortunately both happened only a few times simultaneously. Quite a lot of people had troubles and had to put down the tents, at least in the beginning. Some were even so unlucky that they were pretty wet this morning and had to change their tent.

My tent is fine so far – only a few small leaks – and I hope that my old “playground” manages to survive this camp.

I have been told that this storm was not the only one we will encounter during the contura, so I stay cautious and hope for the best…;)

I dislike mondays…

…sounds less harsh than “I hate mondays” even though latter is actually true.

Got up at 5am to make sure to be at the right place by 5:30am to check wether two chaps showing up. These two gentlemen were supposed to help emptying the toilets on our subcamp. Well, to put it mildly, only one showed up and I had to help myself.

While this is not much of a problem, it is just bothering me that people forget to make your duty, especially if it is just meant to be ONCE in the whole camp.

Well, whatever…I have the chance to complain a lot more, because I will do this very supervising job until friday. I just got a phone call telling me that there is actually a meeting with the people supposed to help emptying the toilets the day before at 8pm. Just got there and met one of them who was willing to call me if there are any problems (and lets me sleep otherwise) which is superbe!

Thanks a lot for that.

I will get up early enough to “supervise” the cleaning shift in the morning anyhow..

But actually, I am not supposed to complain or to nag about this. I am really not!
There is always someone doing those kinds of work. This time it is me among a lot of other people. So, I will do it as best as I can to make sure things are done right (or at least as best as they can be done).

The weather outside changed from very hot and damp to a bit chilly and quite stormy. I hope my tent will survive this wind. However, I am more concerned about all the famous constructions out there made by scouts who might be put down just because of the wind.
I hope nothing happens….

Saturday, half of the camp already past…already sunday

It is already sunday as I write this, so…well, we past over the half of the camp (at least for me that is).

Yesterday we had our usual day of workshops, this time with some more troubles. The participants were pretty cheeky and quite demotivated. However, not all of the workshop leaders could confirm this. Probably I just got unlucky.

The weather was tremendously hot and actually very sticky. A thunderstorm was imminent, at least we thought so. Clouds built up and it looked pretty bad, but it actually rained only a few minutes in the evening.

Nevertheless our interational team party was great and we really enjoyed the company of each other, the cake and the acts. Was really funny, thanks!

Now, today I woke up by the sound of rain. It was not terribly bad, but still…not entirly welcome (even though we have a cool day now). It already stopped raining, but the clouds are still there, so we might get unlucky again today, even though the sun peaks through the coulds some times.

Well, I hope I can get a bike to go to the subcamp four to visit my scout district which appears to have built some wonderful constructions and got famous with the Mission Magdalenas. In the same subcamp (if I am not mistaken) there will be a special day organised by Georgian scouts.

Lets see what the day brings…