Dell Mini 9 exploits: Ubuntu Linux

I’m going to split this post up a bit. I’m going to contain my excitement for my netbook in this post, and then go into my Ubuntu Score Card. I’ve been running the OS for 3 months now and I’ve had everything from unbelievable success to unrivaled failure. :)

Last week my my Dell Mini 9 arrived ten days before schedule. I optioned it up with 1GB of RAM, 16GB SSD, bluetooth, and a web cam. It was cheaper then you think.
Dell Mini 9 UbuntuIt’s sexy, I know. First thing was to ditch the included Dell Ubuntu and load the real deal. 8.10 Intrepid Ibex Ubuntu. A great walk-through on can be found here.

I do like, but be careful though as the “sudo” command gets thrown around a lot – and if you don’t read the fine print you could find yourself with a useless OS quick. I pretty much stuck to pHreaksYcle and redDEAD’s course of action. Turned of indexing, setup Firefox, etc. Check out

I had major issues with desktop switching and the netbook re-mix stuff. What I learned was that I really don’t mind a small screen windowed environment. I use 3 apps – why do I need a manager for them. This also allows me to show of my conky setup. :p Here’s a link to my Dell Mini’s .conky file.

Dell Mini 9 Conky SetupExperience so far: I bought this little guy for a couple reasons. I am often in data centers and server rooms. Quickly troubleshooting problems is the name of the game and so far having a 2.5lb terminal that I can stick on top of a shelf has been nice. Not having to drag another PC in to look for drivers for a dead server is a plus.

90% of the computing I do at home is just surfing the web. Looking up a walkthrough for Final Fantasy IV on the DS (the wife’s game) or a strategy to beat the next mission on Liberty City Stories for the PS2 (my game) is easy chilling on the couch with the Mini. Why get the 4CPU monster machine out to check facebook?

The portability of the Mini has been working out. We’re going to be flying to a wedding in Texas and making other trips this summer, so the Mini will see a lot of flight time. The battery life seems quite good – but I haven’t ‘run it into the ground’ yet. If I’m near power, it’s plugged in. I picked up a 16GB SD card to permanently serve as storage space for mp3’s. Music has also been nice in the server room. :)

There has been some functionality frustrations – but so far so good. I made a linux category here on planetkris and that could mean more updates.

About The Author


Hardware hacker, technology integrator, and maker. He enjoys staring blankly at code, voiding the warranty, and touching things in the back. When not doing that he is building and racing a rally car.

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03 2009

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