Saturday, November 7, 2009

Few Tips for Running Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic Koala on HP Mini 1000

Now I have been running Ubuntu 9.10 on my HP Mini 1000 for more than a week and I'm pretty happy with it. In addition to my last post about getting the wireless to work, I thought I'd probably share a few more tricks I learnt in the pass week.


Out of box, the Ethernet seems to only work when the cable is plugged in before the system boots up and it will lock up the whole machine if you unplug it. To fix this issue you need to first open up the /etc/default/grub (used to be /boot/menu.list in grub 1 but Ubuntu 9.10 ships with grub 2) with your favourite text editor and locate the following line:


and append acpi_os_name=Linux to it, so it should now look like this:

GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT="quiet splash acpi_os_name=Linux"

save the file and run:

sudo update-grub

After rebooting the machine, the Ethernet should work properly.

External Monitor

You have to disable visual effects by setting System -> Appearance -> Visual Effects to None in order for external monitor to work properly. Otherwise the machine just freezes everytime I connect an external LCD monitor to it.

Firefox Cache Directory

My HP Mini 1000 has a 16GB SSD drive, which can die quite quickly if being written to repetitively and web browsers such as Firefox writes cache data to disks quite frequently. Therefore, I prefer setting the Firefox cache folder to the ram disk to make my SSD drive last longer.

In order to change the cache folder, you first need to enter about:config in Firefox address bar and click on the "I'll be careful, I promise" button. Create a new string value by right click on the list and select "New -> String". Name the new value browser.cache.disk.parent_directory and set the value to /dev/shm/<your folder name>. The folder name does not matter and the /dev/shm folder is the ram disk folder created by Ubuntu.

Update: Corrected the grub file name and location, thanks guys


  1. On editing /boot/grub/grub.cfg, I found a scary message saying "DO NOT EDIT THIS FILE" and telling me that it is automatically generated from templates and settings found elsewhere. The latter, /etc/default/grub, is where the "GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT" line will be found.

    I sure hope that putting it in the settings file will let it survive system updates; under 9.04, every time I updated the kernel, I'd have to add the acpi_os_name parameter to /boot/menu.list again manually.

  2. Yeah, you should edit /etc/default/grub (instead of /boot/grub/grub.cfg), and then run sudo update-grub

  3. Thanks! This article worked like a charm. One suggestion though, can you please update the instructions as mentioned by Anonymous regarding editing /etc/default/grub and running update-grub and not grub-update.. It will definitely help for impatient people like me...

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