Linux Mini-Installfest I

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Tonight, we tried Linux installs on four computers, and got through three of them.

ASUS Laptop

Edwin brought an Asus laptop with Windows 8, and we attempted to create a dual-boot system with Windows 8 and Ubuntu 14. Prior to Windows 8, Ubuntu's installer provided an option for a dual-boot install. With windows 8, dual boot wasn't an option. After some discussion, we decided to go with a straight Ubuntu 14 install.

The first gotcha we encountered: the ASUS didn't provide any hints about how to get into BIOS (to change boot order). Through trial and error, we discovered that holding down F2 during boot enters BIOS.

We suspected that some combination of Windows 8 and/or newer BIOS prevented us from doing a dual-boot install. Some sources on the net indicate that Windows 8/Ubuntu dual boots are possible, if you (a) resize the C: drive and create a new empty partition (within windows), and then install Ubuntu on the empty partition.


Edwin has a Windows CAD program, and that was the main motivation for wanting a dual-boot system.

There are Linux CAD programs available. as a list (I haven't tried any of these, though).

Compaq laptop

Pam brought in an older Compaq laptop with ~900 mb of RAM and Windows XP. We chose Lubuntu for this system, because of Lubuntu's (and LXDE's) smaller memory footprint. We succeeded in creating a dual-boot system with Windows XP and Lubuntu. Pam had quite a few files on the XP side, and we wanted to preserve these during the installation.

Our first glitch was the Compaq's wireless chipset, a Broadcom BCM 4318 (Airforce One 54g) chipset. Lubuntu didn't provide a driver out of the box. Our solution: a set of instructions at, which involved installing b43-fwcutter, and using an OpenWRT driver.

See also:

After doing this the laptop's wireless indicator lit up, and iwconfig recognized the wireless NIC as wlan0. However, there's no network manager applet in Lubuntu. Pam will bring her laptop to the next class, so we can continue to work on the wireless.

I did some experimentation with Lubuntu after class, and discovered that Lubuntu supplies a network manager applet, but they don't enable it by default. A solution that worked for me:

  • Start > Preferences > Default applications for LX Session
  • Click the "Core Applications" tab
  • for "Network GUI", enter "nm-applet". Click reload.

We'll try this when Pam brings her laptop back.

Lenovo Desktop

Ruby brought a Lenovo desktop, with Windows XP installed. Our plan was to create a dual-boot system with XP and Xubuntu (choosing Xubuntu because the machine had 1GB of ram).

Resizing the windows partition took a long time, and we weren't able to complete this installation. Next class.

Lucia's Laptop

Lucia brought a laptop running Windows 7. I don't remember the hardware make. We attempted to set up a dual boot system with Windows 7 and Ubuntu. I believe that Kendra and Lucia got through the entire installation.