ubuntulite on a Gateway Solo 9500

January 3, 2008

I REALLY wanted to run OpenBSD on my old Gateway Solo 9500. The OpenBSD philosophy of correctness and security resonates with me.
After fighting the install of 4.2 for many hours and then fighting the first boot for many more hours. I decided to take the path of least resistance (i.e. cut my losses) and try other distributions. I tried xubuntu, fluxbuntu and ubuntulite.

With xubuntu and fluxbuntu, I had major problems with the display resolution (something like 800 x 600 with no option to resize).

I have settled on ubuntulite as the display resolution is perfect and I really like the openbox windows manager. The philosophy of these distributions is to be lite on resource usage so that older machines can still be useful. My Gateway laptop has 256MG RAM. In 2008, that doesn’t take one too far. My requirements are that the screen resolution is adequate (at least 1024 x 768) and that I be able to use vncviewer via wireless connection.

Some outstanding issues that I am still haggling with are:
Most of the time I have to boot numerous times before the machine will go through the entire boot. I can live with this as every ubuntu distro. that I’ve tried on this Gateway laptop has given me the same behavior.

I’m trying to use vncviewer to tap into another box and I am not able to communicate. Although I can connect to the router, I am also unable to ping the given box. What is ironic about this issue is that I did not have this issue with fluxbuntu or xubuntu. I had display resolution issues but the vncviewer worked great.

Anyway, I’m going to give these issues a rest for a while as I have more pressing work in the pipeline. I’ll try to keep my progress updated.

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