Super Spread Sheet S³

Or little computing tricks and hacks

Fedora 16 in eeepc

For the longest time, my daughters’ computers, two Asus eeepc’s with almost consecutive serial numbers, had eeebuntu as their OS. When we bought them, ions ago, that was the perfect choice, given that we are ubunut users. At a given point though, they could not update existing software any more… I was too busy to look into it. But later on, when I wanted them to practice touch-typing using k-touch, I couldn’t install any new software in the computers. A quick google search told me that eeebuntu was no longer maintained, that there was some sort of issue between eeebuntu and ubuntu, and the new version was Aurora. But, there did not seem to be much activity in the Aurora’s website either, so I kept searching. There were issues with ubuntu and these pc’s, namely the latest version does not work and one has to install two versions ago. Uhmm, given that they maintain a release for only three years, that is not very encouraging. The next choice was fedora. And most, if not all the posts I found, were from people who were quite happy with fedora in his eeepc. So that was my choice. Given that Alejandra’s disc had crashed, we decided to buy faster discs (7200 rpm, wow) for both of the computers. Fedora even used the legacy of eeebuntu to adjust to the small screen size (1024 x 600).

I decided to write down all the tweaks I did to get the machines going.

1. Bootable usb. These laptops don’t have optical drive. That is how they can afford to be so small. So I needed to create one: download the iso image, launch “Startup creator” …, uhmm, can’t create a bootable fedora usb with the ubuntu software. Luckily there is “UNetbootin” which was able to do the trick.

2. Check that both computers can run fedora. (Well, if one does the other must. Reasonable assumption but not realistic. One of the computers had to be tweaked at the beginning with eeebuntu as it would not work as the other one.) They did.

3. Buy discs. Replace discs.

4. Boot the computer with the usb, pressing the esc key like mad to get it to boot from an external device. After playing around with fedora, it felt really nice in the computers. Time to install.

4. Follow the standard instructions. I took all the suggested options, such as one partition, etc, rougthly from here. Very good documentation.

5. After rebooting from the disc, the standard thing, you need to create an account, and at some point the superuser account as well, and other standard questions and you are in. Success.

FURTHER SETUP

6. Setting ssh and the ssh daemon. This requires starting the daemon now, and at boot time, and fix the firewall:

A. You have to enable SSHD using systemctl
# su
# systemctl enable sshd.service

B. Start SSHD
# systemctl start sshd.service
C. Check the status of SSHD service
# systemctl status sshd.service
D. Add tcp at port 22 in the firewall. This can be done interactively, with the firewall gui. Once done, you need to stop and restart the firewall. Just search for firewall in the search window which appers when you click activities.

7. Multimedia. Opposite to what I read (and did) in a blog entry,
you do not need the fluendo which you have to purchase for free, meaning that the code is not free.

A. Get the rmp’s for non-free software, which can’t be released with the distribution:
# rpm -ivh http://download1.rpmfusion.org/free/fedora/rpmfusion-free-release-stable.noarch.rpm
# rpm -ivh http://download1.rpmfusion.org/nonfree/fedora/rpmfusion-nonfree-release-stable.noarch.rpm

B. Install the following
# yum -y install gstreamer-plugins-bad gstreamer-plugins-ugly xine-lib-extras-nonfree gstreamer-ffmpeg

C. Installing vlc and mplayer guarantees that you can play almost anything.

8. Adobe flash. How can one live without youtubes nowadays? Instructions from here.
#rpm -ivh http://linuxdownload.adobe.com/adobe-release/adobe-release-i386-1.0-1.noarch.rpm
#rpm --import /etc/pki/rpm-gpg/RPM-GPG-KEY-adobe-linux
#yum check-update
#yum install flash-plugin nspluginwrapper alsa-plugins-pulseaudio libcurl

I have read somewhere that pulseaudio produces a crackling noise mixed with the sound, and that one should stick to just alsa. I wonder if that was just for ubuntu as I have not experienced any of that.

9. TeXlive
#rpm -i http://jnovy.fedorapeople.org/texlive/2011/packages.fc16/texlive-release.noarch.rpm
#yum clean all
#yum install texlive-scheme-full

10. Touch-pad tap and scroll. You need, as superuser, edit the file
/usr/share/X11/xorg.conf.d/50-synaptics.conf and replace the section
Section "InputClass"
   Identifier "touchpad catchall"
   Driver "synaptics"
   MatchIsTouchpad "on"
   MatchDevicePath "/dev/input/event*"
EndSection

by:

Section "InputClass"
   Identifier "touchpad catchall"
   Driver "synaptics"
   MatchIsTouchpad "on"
   Option "TapButton1" "1"
   Option "TapButton2" "2"
   Option "TapButton3" "3"
   MatchDevicePath "/dev/input/event*"
EndSection

You also need the following command somewhere:
gsettings set org.gnome.settings-daemon.peripherals.touchpad tap-to-click true

I put it in the .bashrc but right now it is giving some dbus warnings, which I am not investigating at the moment. So I added
&> /dev/null at the end of command to redirect the warnings, elsewhere.

11. Enjoy!

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