Friday, October 17, 2008

User Guides for Ubuntu 8.10 Intrepid Ibex

If you have decided to upgrade or run Ubuntu 8.10 on your Dell Inspiron Mini 9 you came to the right place. Every piece of hardware on the Dell Mini 9 works in Ubuntu, some things require a bit of work but it's not as hard as it looks.

An overview of Ubuntu 8.10 on the Dell Mini 9

Creating a LiveUSB Stick

Installing Ubuntu 8.10 on the Dell Mini

Installing Ubuntu Netbook Remix

Fixing the USB mounting problem after install

Enabling sound on the Dell Mini 9, walkthrough is at the end of the install guide

Installing Aircraft Manager to Turn Bluetooth and WiFi on/off

Stop Compiz-Fusion From Loading Automatically, necessary for running Ubuntu Netbook Remix

Disable Tracker stop unnecessary wear and tear on your SSD

Customizing Firefox for Netbooks, amazing article for speeding up Firefox and making the most of the small screen resolution

Installing media codecs, for playing mp3, DVD, avi, mp4, aac, etc

Installing Medibuntu for encrypted DVD playback, Windows codecs and Microsoft fonts

Installing and Configuring Skype on the Dell Mini 9

Installing Wine

Have a question or problem that this article doesn't cover?
Ask our Ubuntu Mini 9 Google Group for help.


ideal said...

Does the Fn+F2 enable/disable wifi work ?

Doug said...

Since it's been a few weeks since this post, and Ibex has officially come out, would a "Release upgrade" on my mini 9 to 8.10 "just work"?

I just got the mini 9 yesterday and would rather upgrade without issue if possible.

Thanks in advance!


redDEAD said...


If you upgrade to 8.10, there are very few issues (you'll have to fix your fstab and sound). But you have to do a fresh install.

The Dell version of Ubuntu 8.04 uses Dell's repos, you can't do a system upgrade to 8.10 because Dell doesn't offer the 8.10 distro/packages.

dan said...

i put 8.10 on the mini and had no issues that the guide didnt fix. the only thing is that the original dell 8.04 said that my batt life was 4:55 when fully charged and 8.10 says its a little more then 4hrs. does 8.10 use more batt or is the dell's 8.04 not accurate?

Doug said...

Just wanted to say all went very well installing 8.10. Thanks Red.

As for battery I only ran 8.04 for a day but fully charged my estimated time is just 5 minutes off, 4:10 to 4:05. I haven't run it down to really see the real battery life.

Nathan said...

Has anyone had trouble with gnome-power-manager in 8.10 on the mini. My power icon on the task bar frequently becomes unresponsive, disappears, and reappears minutes later seemingly working fine again.

redDEAD said...


Happens to me too. When I'm plugged in nothing weird happens, but when I unplug or am on battery The icon takes about 40 seconds to appear.

Anonymous said...

Thanks really good stuff.
I used the network install and it worked great. You may want to give it a try one day.

Anonymous said...

can i use the 3d visual effects of compiz fusion on my dell mini 9 or do i need to upgrade to 8.10 to do this?

Jimmy said...

Do any of you have any problems connecting to a WPA wireless network using TKIP? I know it's a problem on some laptops with 8.10 due to the fact that with the new network manager it does not allow you to select the encryption type.

Anonymous said...

Will you be making a guide for updating the BIOS? Or is that still not recommended until Dell makes a utility for it to be installed regularly via Ubuntu.

redDEAD said...

I'll write a proper guide for upgrading BIOS when Dell releases a decent utility for Linux. Until then you can read my unofficial guide in the Google Group for updating your BIOS.

Anonymous said...

I found instructions for updating the BIOS safely. Go here:

Uses Dell's DOS utility instead of a Linux hack.

Michael said...

Hey guys - Just a small hint to increase your drive space using a SDHC card and not having it corrupt when you suspend your machine.

I used this above guide to install 8.10 on my dell mini which worked fantastic! However, during the install I set my partitions as

/ -> 10240mb and ext2
/home -> as the remaining and ext2

Once booted for the first time, I did the following

1) insert SDHC card

2) sudo fdisk /dev/mmcblk0

3) made a primary linux partition

4) sudo mkfs.ext2 /dev/mmcblk0p1

5) mkdir /home/user_name/data

(replacing user_name with your actual user name)

6)Backup your fstab by
'sudo cp /etc/fstab /etc/fstab.old'

7) sudo nano /etc/fstab

8) add the following as one line replacing user_name with your actual user name :

/dev/mmcblk0p1 /home/user_name/data ext2 user,auto,exec 0 0

9)reboot, the sd card should now be mounted at the data directory... I moved my Documents, Videos directories etc to the data directory.

10) However when you suspend, things will go bad and your sd card will be corrupted. Apparently data corruption on SD cards left in during suspend is a known problem for 8.10 To fix, do the following

11) cd /etc/pm/sleep.d/

12) sudo nano

13) add the following replacing user_name with your actual user name:


case "$1" in
umount /home/user_name/data
mount /home/user_name/data

exit $?

14) Save and exit

15) Set it executable:

sudo chmod +x /etc/pm/sleep.d/

and test.

16) So far this has worked for me, but I give no guarantees

Michael Allen

Anonymous said...

So why exactly would anyone actually WANT to "upgrade" to Intrepid? Is there any gain? Seems like it just breaks stuff...

Seems to me if the hardware works perfectly with 8.04, leave it alone...

Peter said...

Has anyone managed to get the integrated 3G card running on Ubuntu 8.10? It shows up in HardInfo as pan0 in Network Interfaces, and it lets me create a 3G connection for Vodafone UK in the Mobile Broadband Tab of 'Network Connections' then it tells me that the Service Disconnected when I try and connect to Vodafone. I am guessing I need to make sure that the integrated Dell Wireless Modem is correctly configured to let this work - any ideas???

drmank said...

For some reason, the sound does not work if I have headphones plugged in. Is anyone else experiencing this? Is there a fix?

Anonymous said...

Hi there!

I have just upgrade from hoary to intrepid. I have used the apt-get dist-upgraded method (not live-cd install

At the beginning the X crash, becouse the exa module was not found. I had been looking at the system and i found that /usr/lib/xorg/modules/ was not exist. The upgrade program had renamed it to

I had had problems with the sound too. With this pages instructions i have solved it.

After that i had have problems with the battery. The gnome-power-manager seems not to work propierty. I have uninstalled the intrepid gnome-power-manager package and I have installed the original one: 2.22.1-1ubuntu4.1netbook2. It works fine now.

Finally i have a problem with the keyboard. The first time I login my keyboard doesnt works. I must restart session to have it working.. :? any idea?

Best regards

Anonymous said...

hi again:

I have solved the keyboard problem. I have edited the /etc/X11/xorg.conf file.

I have added this
InputDevice "Generic Keyboard"
in the serverLayout block.