Installing Ubuntu 8.04 on the ASUS EEE

Okay, so I did a painless upgrade from 7.10 to 8.04 LTS while it was still in pre-release, but now that I’ve been playing around with the system for awhile, it’s apparent that my needs are changing and the easiest way to cater to these needs is a full reinstall from scratch, putting in place the learnings I’ve gained since initially getting the EEE and blowing away the default Xandros installation.

Update 19/05/2008: Added a few more applications to the HOWTO

Update 22/05/2008: Added a ‘Weirdness’ Section after having problems removing files from Trash.

First things first, I’ve decided I like swap, especially because it enables the hibernate option and, given I’m now taking public transport to and from work, that allows me to quickly start up the EEE and resume reading where I left off. I’ve also found that I change my mind alot, and I need more space than the 4GB internal SSD provides me. For these reasons I’m putting the /swap and /home partitions on a 8GB SDHD card which will remain firmly plugged into the EEE – I have no idea what attempting to boot without the SDHD card in would do to the build, but I suspect it would be something interesting.


Installing, again off an external CD/DVD drive, (but learning from previous frustrations) – I chose to burn the install CD using the same external drive as I will install from. Swapping between different drives causes the installation to hang, it could be a lens alignment issue with the installation or the burning drive, or it may just be the cosmic rays are bouncing in the wrong direction off my tinfoil hat – whatever it is, I’ve burnt a couple of 8.04 Desktop CDs which are otherwise fine on other PCs/CD Drives, but give me a great big epic fail when trying to install off the external CD/DVD – I probably shouldn’t have dropped the drive as much as I have… Anyway, the burn and install using the same drive is working fine, so – on with the guide.

There are some minor cosmetic changes to the installer between v7.10 and v8.04, but I’ve not screenshotted the entire process this time. For obvious reasons, I’ve chosen the region of Auckland, New Zealand, chosen all the other defaults and the only change I’ve made to the manual partitioning method is to create a single / ext3 partition on sda1 (the internal SSD) and put an 7505MB (minus 512MB for the swap) /home ext 3 partition on sdb1 along with the 512MB /swap partition.

Post Install Tweaks

Getting WiFi to work

I was a bit hobbled with this, 8.04 detects the chipset correctly, but the WiFi does not work until you follow a similar process to 7.10.However, I ran into issues during the ‘make’ process – Your mileage may vary, so try the code in sequence first 🙂


tar zxvf madwifi-nr-r3366+ar5007.tar.gz

cd madwifi-nr-r3366+ar5007/

make clean


sudo make install


As I said, I was getting this error on make: *** /lib/modules/2.6.24-16-generic/build is missing, please set KERNELPATH. Stop.

Which (after the requisite googling and sorting the dumb responses from the useful) was resolved by:

sudo apt-get remove linux-headers-`uname -r`

sudo apt-get install linux-headers-`uname -r`

Then progressing through:

make clean


sudo make install

sudo reboot

Done! 🙂

Shutdown Fix (hat tip)

sudo gedit /etc/init.d/halt

and add ‘modprobe -r snd-hda-intel’ under the stop function

do_stop () {
modprobe -r snd-hda-intel
if [ “$INITHALT” = “” ]


From terminal, type:

sudo gedit /etc/init.d/rc

Search for CONCURRENCY=none and change to CONCURRENCY=shell

Save the file

Installing Other Software

VoIP client (Twinkle)

apt-get install twinkle

It’s ~78MB but it’s well regarded in most of the forums I visited when researching recommendations) – Check the version, at time of typing the latest version of Twinkle was 1.2, the apt source was 1.1 so, I needed to download the latest file. GDebi will open the file, and warn you that an older version is avalible in a software channel, choose for yourself – but I installed 1.2 regardless (I’m such a wild and crazy guy :\ )

Adobe Air Client
This is an alpha release so, proceed with caution – however, it’s working for me so take that as you wish. Installation is pretty easy,

  1. visit this link,
  2. click the “Get Adobe Air…” link,
  3. save the .bin file to your HDD,
  4. navigate to where the file was saved and (from terminal) type:

chmod +x adobeair_linux.[version_goes_here].bin

to make the file executable then:


to start the installer.

As for applications to install under AIR, choose from this list. I’m personally running Twhirl which works very well, and I would LIKE to try out ReadAir and iSpy (which fail).

Anti-Virus (17.9MB)

sudo apt-get install clamtk


Download the file from this link

sudo tar xzf VMware-player-2.0.3-80004.i386.tar.gz -C /tmp
sudo cd /tmp/vmware-player-distrib
sudo ./

Then, choose all the defaults… My installed errored with “unable to build the vmmon module” which was easily resolved by following the instructions from here

tar -xzvf vmware-any-any-update-116.tgz
cd vmware-any-any-update116/
sudo ./

Select defaults again, then run:


This worked fine from installation for me – adding the ‘Cheese’ app merely allows me to have some fun with my kids and the built in camera.

sudo apt-get install cheese

Application will be installed under ‘Applications > Graphics > Cheese’


Files stuck in the trash

For some reason I got about 3.5GB of files in the trash which just refused to delete/empty via the GUI. Of course, there’s ALWAYS a way to achieve GUI tasks via the command line and, with thanks to Google and the Ubuntu community – the answer is as follows:

sudo rm -rf ~/.local/share/Trash/files/*

This will kill ALL files in the ‘Trash’ so, use with caution.

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