Arnt Gulbrandsen
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2012-06-26

More on Ubuntu 12.04 and the Nokia Booklet

I've written earlier that Ubuntu 12.04 runs well on the Nokia Booklet. True, it does. But I glossed over the pain of installing. Sorry.

My first problem was that I had installed an SSD, and the 3.0 linux kernel, the chipset and the SSD weren't friends. The installer would die immediately after partitioning the disk.

I got around that by booting ubuntu (actually kubuntu) from a USB stick, choosing try kubuntu, connecting to a wireless network, opening a terminal and issuing the following commands:

sudo -s fdisk /dev/sda echo -n unmap > /sys/devices/pci0000:00/0000:00:1f.1/host0/target0:0:0/0:0:0:0/scsi_disk/0:0:0:0/provisioning_mode apt-get install lvm2 cryptsetup modprobe dm-crypt

sudo to get root karma, fdisk to partition the disk and make the kernel create the …/provisioning_mode file, echo unmap to prevent broken TRIM handling from spoiling the party, and the last two for installing LUKS according to Andreas Härter's recipe. Then I started the installer and installed as usual. Afterwards I installed LVM and cryptsetup on the target system, as Andreas describes, and made the unmap permanent by adding the echo unmap command to (the target system's) /etc/rc.local.

My /etc/crypttab is much simpler than what Andreas suggests, just one line:

lvmc /dev/sda2 none luks

(My /dev/sda1 is /boot, /dev/sda2 is the LVM partition containing everything else.) Because I chose LUKS for encryption (I like LUKS much better than ecryptfs, which ubuntu offers by default) I could use the installer's option to log me in automatically on startup, rather than ask for a password. By a stroke of luck, I appear to have escaped a bad bug by doing so.

The result worked, but KDE wasn't entirely happy with 1GB RAM: krunner loaded far too many plugins, akonadi and nepomuk didn't justify their RAM usage, and too many services started up automatically.

The krunner plugins are easily disabled: Alt-F2, click the spanner, then disable almost all of the plugins. I left only the one to run programs.

Akonadi is a storage service; it's quite neat, but on my laptop it uses more RAM to perform its service than it stores data. Not justifiable. Nepomuk does some sort oof search. It too uses so much RAM all the time that it has to go. The occasional fast search isn't worth the permanent slowdown. Many blogs explain how to get rid of them, ubuntuku.org's explanation is perfectly reasonable.

KDE also starts many services by default. IMHO a laptop without a DVD drive simply does not need a server to manage its Eject button, and many of the other services are neat, but having usable RAM is neater. So I clicked K → System Settings → Startup and Shutdown → Service Manager, where I disabled BlueDevil, Drive Ejector, Free Space Notifier, KMixD, Muon Notifier, Nepomuk Search Module, ObexFTP, Remote URL Change Notifier and Write Daemon.

At the same time I got rid of the last remnant of Akonadi, called Akonaditray: In the Autostart section I enabled and then explictly disabled Akonaditray: Add Program, Akonaditray, OK, then I disabled it in the now-visible column.