Tuesday, 18 May 2010

PC-BSD 7.1.1 on Samsung NC10 & Acer Aspire 1

PC-BSD 7.1.1 on Samsung NC10 Netbook


Processor: Intel Atom N270 1.6 GHz, 533 MHz CPU front side bus
Graphics card: Intel GMA 950
LCD screen geometry: 1024X600 10.2 Inches
Hard Disc Drive: 160GB
Wireless: Atheros 5000 series 802.11 b/g, Bluetooth 2.0+EDR
LAN Net 10/100 base-T (Marvel)
Chipset: Intel 945
Webcam: 1.3 MP

What works out of the box.

The correct screen geometry (1024X600) is settable post-install and in a graphical interface (KDE4), sound card, wireless card and USB ports.


SD card inferface
Headphone and microphone ports.
LAN inferface. This reported in hardware and named in detail, and possibly works.

What does not work out of the box.

Brightness buttons
Volume buttons
F9 (Wlan on/off)
F6 mute
F3 euro key

USB Huawei E150 broadband dongle, which works well in Ubuntu 8.04 and 8.10 and their respective kernels 2.6.24-16 and higher, did not work.
My Ralink 26xx series USB WiFi dongle was detected but as yet does not work either.

Installation Method.

I am currently running PC-BSD from a Lacie portable Rikiki 250GB external USB drive. I choose this meethod due to difficulties experience on an Acer Aspire One Netbook containing a very well-behaved Ubuntu 8.10 installation. The PC-BSD bootloader would not boot the Linux partition. This appears to be a well-known issue. The default file system in PC-BSD, actually the choice of file system, is UFS. The Linux parition which is ext4, did not recognize UFS. The PC-BSD did, however, recognise the Linux partition, but would not boot it. FreeBSD does not see drives as /dev/sda etc but in terms of "slices" /dev/ad0sl1 etc.

Not wantiWhat does not workng to repeat this with my Samsung NC10, I installed PC-BSD on an external USB drive. It has proven to be quite stable. The wireless card was up and operational in seconds.

Multimedia codecs namely; mp3/4 and AVI, Ogg run out box. Extra software can be downloaded from pbidir.com.

PC-BSD is a good choice for any one wishing increase their FreeBSD know-how or for UNIX newcomers who want to learn how UNIX/Unix-like systems work and also do regular desktop tasks.

PC-BSD 7.1.1 on the Acer Aspire One 150 1GB


Processor: Intel Atom N270
RAM Memory: 1GB DDR2
Hard Disc Drive: 120GB
Graphics card: Intel GMA 950
LCD Glossy Screen 1024x600 8.9 Inches
WLan: Atheros 5000 series
LAN: 10/100 base-T
Webcam: Crystal Eye

What works out of the box:

Sound, correct screen geometry, WLan and USB ports.


Webcam, audio ports, LAN 10/100 base-T

What does not work out the box:

Multimedia card interface, Function buttons for brightness and sound adjustment.

The Acer Aspire One Netbook works in very much the same way as the Samsung NC10 Netbook and run from external store. Please note that BOTH Netbooks can run PC-BSD from the internal HDD. I have chosen to run both from external store due to dual boot issues. It's a personal choice since PC-BSD's boot loader I believe needs refining.

In the case of the my Samsung NC10, when booting with PC-BSD on an external HDD it does detect and launch my Ubuntu 8.10. The issue I experienced with the Acer Aspire One could be due to compatibility issues with ext4 filesystem in use at time of installation.

Just a thought.