Ubuntu Karmic Koala on the Dell Mini 10v Netbook

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Ubuntu Karmic Koala beta seems to work very well on the Dell Mini 10v netbook once you have made a few small tweaks. I used the Netbook remix for pure convenience although I didn't actually want to use any of the UNR stuff.


OS Build Details

  • Install Ubuntu 9.10 karmic Koala beta Netbook remix (using whole disk).

Binary Wireless Driver

  • Using the hardware/firmware tool, select the Broadcom binary Wireless driver and reboot.

Reduce SSD wear

  • Add the 'noatime' option to /etc/fstab for the / filesystem ref

Enable Touchpad GUI Configuration

  • Put this in /etc/hal/fdi/policy/shmconfig.fdi, to enable Synaptic shared memory (ref):
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<deviceinfo version="0.2">
  <match key="input.x11_driver" string="synaptics">
   <merge key="input.x11_options.SHMConfig" type="string">True</merge>

Make the Touchpad Usable

Dell, what were you thinking!? The following tweaks ensures that the left touchpad button doesn't interfere with the touchpad. It does this by disabling a small portion of the bottom and left of the pad. Without this you will be hitting the keyboard with a large hammer after about 10 minutes because every time you push the button, the cursor moves a little or even jumps to somewhere else on the screen causing frequent mis-clicks. (ref)

  • Add the following merge lines after this Match line in /usr/share/hal/fdi/policy/20thirdparty/11-x11-synaptics.fdi:
       <match key="/org/freedesktop/Hal/devices/computer:system.hardware.product" string="Inspiron 1011">
            <merge key="input.x11_options.AreaBottomEdge" type="string">4000</merge>    
            <merge key="input.x11_options.AreaLeftEdge" type="string">1500</merge>     
            <merge key="input.x11_options.TapButton1" type="string">1</merge>     

Remove Netbook Remix packages (optional)

  • Remove these packages using either 'sudo synaptic' or 'sudo apt-get purge':
ubuntu-netbook-remix-default-settings netbook-launcher ubuntu-netbook-remix maximus webfav


  • Install all updates (very important if you want to have usable graphics acceleration / compiz)
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade


  • Fix for sound ref, in /etc/modprobe.d/alsa-base.conf, comment out:
options snd-hda-intel power_save=10
  • and add:
options snd-hda-intel model=auto
  • Add this before exit in /etc/rc.local (seems to help somewhat):
alsa force-reload
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