May 05

eeeXubuntu

Tag: linuxSymon Rottem @ 8:45 am

Well that didn’t take long.

Continuing on my last post about setting up an Eee PC as a server I’ve gone ahead and replaced the existing software on my Eee PC with a fork of Xubuntu called, funnily enough eeeXubuntu that has built in support for all the Eee PC hardware and is optimized for for it’s itty-bitty screen.

Not too hard, I must say. The folks at eeeuser.com have been good enough to set up a wiki with simple instructions for putting the LiveCD image onto a USB key to install (since the Eee PC doesn’t have a CDROM) and the installation was smooth sailing. Everything good, everything easy, no exceptions. In about 30 minutes I had a desktop login, wireless and wired network connectivity, everything.

The next step was to get a LAMP install on the machine. After a little searching around I discovered that there’s a utility provided with the distro called tasksel that provides a simple set of check boxes to set up LAMP, SAMBA, alternate desktops and more. There appears to be a bug with tasksel that causes it to hang when the install gets to 100%, but everything seems to install OK. At least I know Apache is running; I can reach it from the other machines on my network through a browser.

Wow – I’m well underway.

Next step was to get printer sharing working. I plugged in the printer – it was auto-detected. The printer control dialog offered me the option to share the printer…done. Then I added the printer to my Windows notebook using the add printer wizard – things were a little different there; I had to use the internet network printer approach rather than the way I normally would; that took about 10 minutes research.

Hmm. This is all too easy. Am I actually going to learn anything here?

Now to connect my real storage. Since the Eee PC only has 4Gb of onboard storage I’m going to supplement it with removable USB drives and I’m going to expose that using Windows shares. Since I installed SAMBA when running tasksel above I should be able to plug in and share….

Ok. Now I’m learning.

After about 6 hours of persistent stuffing around I’ve managed to get it so that the USB drive will always appear in the same device location and I’ve managed to edit the /etc/fstab file so I can get it mounted to a known location using sudo mount -a and I’ve shared that I’ve shared with SAMBA. Woohoo!

But as with all learning (especially when the curve is steep) there’s a point where you get stuck; I can share the folder, but I can’t get the removable USB disk to re-mount itself on reboot. I can manually mount it by executing sudo mount -a again, but it won’t happen automatically and I don’t want to have to log into a console to get it going again after a reboot.

Since it’s now after midnight I’m going to pack it in for the day, but if anyone’s got any ideas on how to get the drive to mount automatically on boot I’d love to hear them.

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