Ubuntu on EEE1101 (gma500/poulsbo)

After the relative success with with my EEE 701 I decided to give my EEE 1101 a try. First, there are official Ubuntu instructions how to run Ubuntu on a computer with gma500 (poulsbo) graphics chipset. I post the link because it is surprisingly hard to find it using google. Note that they updated that page just about an hour before I write this.

Natty (Ubuntu 11.04)
First I gave Natty a try (the Ubuntu page was not so discouraging a few days ago). It did not work at all, and since it is not supposed to work, I am not going to explain what I went through.

Maverick (Ubuntu 10.10)
Maverick installs without much problem on the EEE 1101, using a slow VESA-mode (or something) at 1024×768. As soon as I was done with the installation I upgraded (apt-get update, apt-get upgrade) and then followed the instructions. The first command (add-apt-repository) gave some GPG-key complains, but I found out it was ok to proceed anyways. The other commands went all fine. I rebooted, and everything was fine.

Unity
I decided to try Unity on this machine with Maverick. I found installation instructions for Unity and followed them. Unity did not work at all. The “dock” did not render properly. The “menu” did not render properly. The computer felt very slow. I gave up.

External display
I use this netbook at work, and it is common that I connect it to a projector during a meeting. This has before stopped me from running Ubuntu on it. Well, I found out that:

  • Mirrored display (same output on both screens) is not possible to choose at all
  • Side-by-side requires changing X virtual screen size, this destroys performance completely
  • Turning external display ON, and laptop display OFF, then clicking Apply, works well (at least for 1024×768).

Having your laptop display black, and the external display working, can be worthless, useful, or perfect, depending on situation. The Gnome monitor application is not really designed to do this kind of switch only, so it is a little cumbersome, but it works.

Flash performance
YouTube video performance is bad. 240-resolution flows. At higher resolution, and full screen, the jerkiness and lost frames make it unpleasant to view. Facebook games like CityVille are painfully slow to play. To be fair, I think this is very slow in Windows too, on this computer. (I will double check some day)

  1. Youtube works fine on windows/gma500 even at 480p. Facebook flash-based games are impossible.

  2. Same story goes here for my Nokia Booklet 3g with GMA 500

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