Ubuntu for the Internet in your pocket


With Asus Eee devices, a bag has ripped lately. Although Eekoek is not the cheapest one today, the notion of Eee has probably come to the minds most. When the first version of Eeka appeared, it came with its own Linux system. First, everyone thought it was too slow on Windows, but this myth was later demolished. Today, netbooks are sold with different operating systems and are mostly customized by the manufacturer.

However, during the development of netbooks, users were also previewing these small machines. Although they are presented as web-based devices on which nothing but web and e-mail will go, but even  Linus Torvalds has admitted that he has written a few lines of kernel on Eeek. A lot of people prefer mainly size and weight. Not everyone can afford to sit around with a large monitor, a good keyboard, and a socket.
At the same time as netbooks appeared, developers embarked on the development of a new Linux desktop. We are talking about KDE 4, which is trying to bring some light into the twenty-year tradition of windows, start offers, etc. What Mac OS X started, KDE 4 continues proudly. The developers are simply tired of programming the same way to control the computer.
Netbooks have become the hub of a variety of attempts to control. Some projects like Ubuntu Eee are rather conservative, but Xandros and Ubuntu MID go their way. The aim is to simplify control over a small touchpad as much as possible, or via a touchscreen monitor, and offer devices and computers to ignorant people.


The easiest way to install Ubuntu MID is via a USB flash drive. Most of these devices do not have a drive, so we have no choice anymore. Download a disk image from the Internet and copy it to our USB flash drive using dd.

Check out the md5 totals after downloading. It happened to me that the file had been corrupted and it took me a long time to figure it out.
Then boot from the USB flash drive and display the language and menu selection. We choose to either install or test the system. I didn't find the difference.
After booting, we will see a straightforward system environment. There you can find the Install icon in the settings. After clicking, we will see a dialog very similar to that of classic Ubuntu. I think it makes no sense to continue with the installation. Everything has been discussed in other articles.
The start of an already installed system is not somehow famous and certainly cannot be equal to a few seconds at Moblin.


Ubuntu MID interface is something between Palm and Windows Mobile. I can't say he's getting the best of both, but the result isn't the worst. The biggest minus I see is switching between running applications. I didn't find any way to get to the application I ran before the other than alt + tab. The house button in the upper left corner only toggles the desktop (launcher) and current application. The box next to the house is used to show the menu of the running application.
If you look at the screenshot, you will see virtually all elements of Ubuntu MID. This is a very simple Windows Manager with simple controls. No moving or zooming in on any windows is supported. All applications are displayed in full screen. Only some of the dialog boxes cover only a part. The whole system works just like the interface of the purchased video or television, just works.
To run applications, the desktop is used, or rather, to run where the desktop is normally. This is probably the fastest way to start. Something similar can be found, for example, in Palma, from which many mobile phones have something to learn. It was also based on applications rather than on the system itself. It made him feel like a modular system.
The whole environment is ready for touchscreen control, with a straight finger without a stylus. Unfortunately, the mouse and touchpad suffer a bit, and some setup boxes (such as keyboards) behave unexpectedly at first experience. I believe that the Nokia N810 with touchscreen needs to be very comfortable.
As the system is controlled by the finger, the size of the font is probably related to the size of the system. So readability is also good for people with glasses. Unfortunately, it suffers a little from the amount of text that can be displayed.
Ubuntu MID is ready for devices without a keyboard and provides a virtual keyboard. I did not have problems with the physical keyboard, but I could not complete the Czech layout.
FIG. Keyboard
Overall, the system looks functional and pleasant to me, but the beta version still has flies. The mentioned application switching does not work, the desktop background cannot be changed, some forms do not fit on the monitor.


No application or Ubuntu MID can do without applications. There is practically the entire original Ubuntu repository available. It is not a problem to add favorite applications you know from elsewhere. But let's look at the pre-installed ones.


Writing documents is one of the most important things on netbooks. Therefore, the office package represented here by OpenOffice.org in version 3.0.1 may not be missing. While other applications aren't so much office, they're not far from them. These include the StarDict dictionary, e-book viewer, task and contact management, and document viewer.


With multimedia it is weaker in Ubuntu MID. MP3 format support needs to be installed by default. It's a little foolish that there is only Totem to play music and movies. To work with the image we have a program for Cheese webcam and gThumb image viewer. I miss a program here for working with photo albums.


Network hardware support is seamless in Ubuntu MID. We even have a Gnome PPP that allows us to connect to the Internet using a mobile phone via Bluetooth. MidBrowser is used for web browsing. We can't find Skype here, but Ekiga could substitute for it. We have Thunderbird installed for mail and Pidgin for communication with friends.
It is clear that developers cannot choose to use the software to make everyone happy, so there's no problem installing Synaptic. The large font and low resolution suffer from most of all installed applications.

Hardware support

Ubntu MID should have support for most netbooks used today. On my Asus Eee 1000h I had no problem with hardware. Bluetooth, Intel 4965agn WiFi card and network card worked right after start. The project site also talks about the GPS module, but there is nothing to GPS between the software.


I tried Ubuntu MID in the heat of trying new distributions for Eeko. Despite the fact that I prefer Gentoo on Eeko, I would think about Ubuntu MID on the Internet device in the touch screen pocket. It's not just a simple interface, but rather the fact that Linux is getting into it with all its benefits. With the Ubuntu repository, there are practically no limits to the use of this device. Ubuntu MID is definitely worth trying.


Post a Comment