running ubuntu gutsy 7.10 on arima w310-di1 / blue radon-nwx (w310)

This is just a summary of the steps that I did when I installed Ubuntu Gutsy on my laptop. I just thought that it might be helpful to some guys out there with the same laptop model as mine…YMMV, so follow the steps at your own risk, remember to back-up if you have important files.

My Rig…

I’ve been working as a software developer for almost three years now and so I thought, maybe it’s time for me to have my own laptop. So after some little research, which is comprised of spending hours in computer sites and buy-and-sell forums, I settled for this one:

Arima W310-Di / Blue Radon-NWX (W310)
  • CPU: Intel Core Duo T2250 (1.73 GHz) 2MB L2 Cache, 533 MHz FSB
  • Memory: 1Gb DDR2
  • Display: 13.3″ Wide XGA
  • Video Card: ATI Mobility Radeon x1300
  • Hard Drive: 160Gb Fujitsu MHW2160BH
  • WiFi: Intel Pro / Wireless 3945abgWeight 1.87 kgs
  • Other Stuffs: Bluetooth, Touch controls, SD/MMC/MS pro/ Card Reader

I bought it almost a month ago from bongbong in tipidpc, and so far… it’s doing well.

Pre-installation…

When I got the laptop, it has a pre installed MS Vista Home Premium in it. So I have three choices: (1) dump Vista and just install Ubuntu, (2) replace Vista with XP and dual boot with Ubuntu, (3) lastly, keep Vista and dual boot with Ubuntu. The easiest choice would be #1, but knowing that Ubuntu/Linux is not perfect, I might get stuck and do the process all over. Besides, I paid for Vista, so I decided to keep it.

Keeping Vista gave me a new problem, which is partitioning… gparted, the partition editor that goes with the Ubuntu live cd/installer, can’t resize the Vista NTFS partition gracefully, so it’s not an option. ( I tried to use it and I ended up, reinstalling Vista using the recovery CD… )

After a little research, I stumbled on this article in Digg on how to use Vista’s Disk Management tool in resizing partitions. It has screenshots, so all you have to do is read and follow. Just a little note though, you can resize up to 50% only of your hard drive space, which in my case, after resizing, I have a 75Gb for Vista and the rest is unused.

Installing Ubuntu Gutsy…

The installation program is pretty straight forward, so I don’t think there’s going to be a problem here. When it comes to partitions, I prefer to set it manually. I used this setting in distributing the unused space:

/boot, 150 MB
/, 7.5 GB
/home, 2 GB
/files, 62 GB
/swap, 2 GB

I prefer to put /home in a different partition for this is where program settings are usually stored in most Linux distributions, so if ever I want to install a new/different distro, I’ll just keep /home and /files, and format the rest. This is just a personal preference, a different approach can be used here.

Post-installation…

After the installation of Gutsy, it was quite nice to know that the following works:

  • WiFi is working flawlessly
  • Bluetooth is detected and working
  • Touch controls are working!

At this point, I tried to enable compiz-fusion and this is where I realized that my screen resolution is limited to 800×600… What the?!… I tried to install the restricted driver of ATI (fglrx) using the Restricted Drivers Manager, made a reboot… still 800×600!!!

This is one of the problems that I encountered. I listed some (what I can remember… ) below and how I stumbled on the fix.

fglrx driver doesn’t work…

I was stuck on this problem for a while… these simple steps did the trick:

xxx@mybox:~$ sudo apt-get purge xorg-driver-fglrx
xxx@mybox:~$ sudo apt-get install xorg-driver-fglrx
xxx@mybox:~$ sudo reboot

I don’t know why but it worked. Please note that this driver doesn’t support AIGLX, you’ll have to use XGL for compiz-fusion.

I did these steps to enable compiz-fusion:

I added the following lines to /etc/X11/xorg.conf

Section “Extensions”
Option “Composite” “1”
EndSection

then, install xserver-xgl:

xxx@mybox:~$ sudo apt-get install xserver-xgl

and to enable compiz-fusion, go to: System>Preferences>Appearance>Visual Effects

This time, I got the tips above from ubuntuforums, so you can check also on that site.

(with compiz-fusion enabled, using the cube plugin)


hard drive Load Cycle Rate problem…

I read about this problem when it came out and I became much interested when I found out that my laptop suffers the same fate. To summarize it: aggressive power savings mode is usually a default configuration for notebooks, and Ubuntu doesn’t override this, the draw back on hard drive is a faster rate of wear and tear, in short, shorter life span for drives.

You can read this article if you want to know more. Please refer to this link for the unofficial fix.

That’s it so far, I’ll just update the post when I remember the other problems that I encountered (if I have the time…).

One thought on “running ubuntu gutsy 7.10 on arima w310-di1 / blue radon-nwx (w310)

  1. Tiago

    If you want to use 1280×800 on gutsy with compiz working…try to install envy (it´s like a glove lol) if you update gutsy to hardy just uninstall envy and install envyNG! Envy can be found at synaptic or just look for it on google! best regards (do your laptop play sound? that´s other problem that i can´t solve…) sorry my bad english

    Reply

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