Thursday, February 16

Installing Edubuntu on Thinkpad T42

Ubuntu went too far to drop support for non-pae CPUs. My Thinkpad T42 is using Intel Pentium M CPU which doesn't have pae feature, so it won't be able to install the new version of the Ubuntu.

Note: pae feature of a CPU is for using more than 4G of memory. My computer only has 1G, so it

Ubuntu 11.4 still has support for non-pae CPU. When installing Ubunt 11.10 in a clean (empty) T42, it stops running, saying the CPU doesn't have the necessary pae feature. After the Ubuntu 11.4 is installed, installing 11.10 will be success.

This trick doesn't work for the next version, Ubuntu 12.4 (Alpha 2) at the time of writing this blog. So the highest version I can install is the 11.10. What I actually installed is Edubuntu 11.10.


After installing Edubuntu 11.10 using the 2.7G DVD, it requires installing 500M of updates. I can observe some glitchs before the updates are applied. What a pity for a released version. It's like 1 week after Windows 7 was released, SP1 was ready.

Call me old-fasion. I don't like the Unity and the app menu (aka. global menu). At lease the Unity panel should come with classicmenu so that user can run the unfamiliar programs. It can be installed seperately. Select Genome Classic in the login page can get me back to the old menu. The following steps will get rid of the app menu:
sudo apt-get remove appmenu-gtk3 appmenu-gtk appmenu-qt

and the following steps will change the scroll bar back to normal:
sudo apt-get remove liboverlay-scrollbar-2.0-0

Then, don't forget to run gconf-editor to modify the /apps/metaciy/general/button_layout into :minimize,maximize,close

Alt-Right click the panel to modify the property and add different buttons, now here is what I get:

Now I'm pretty happy with it.

The best things I like in Edebuntu is the Tux Paint and Stellarium.

For my children's use, I setup an auto sleep procedure so that the computer hibernate after a period of time, to let children leave the computer afater sitting for a while.

Step 1, create an in home folder:

# wait 15 minutes, then shutdown.
while TRUE; do
  sleep 15m
  sudo /etc/acpi/
  #sudo shutdown -h 1

Step 2, Add into System->Preference->Startup Session.

Step 3, add the user into "wheel" so that the "sudo" works. I am lazy, so that I actually let the user to have full access to all privileged commands by:
sudo visudo
Add this line:
ben ALL=NOPASSWD:/sbin/,etc/acpi/


Cool. It's a whole new system ready for children in educational purpose.