Dell Mini 9 Discussion Discussion on the Dell Inspiron Mini 9.

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cowchip7 cowchip7 is offline
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Default Picking up mini 9 Tuesday... few questions - 04-12-2009, 03:32 PM

I am picking up my mini 9 from FedEx on Tuesday. I am upgrading the RAM myself to 2gb. It is being shipped with the Dell ubuntu OS. I am debating whether or not to wipe off the dell ubuntu and installing Jaunty UNR when the stable version comes out. What does everyone think? Are there people out there that still run, and enjoy, the dell version of ubuntu?

If I were to keep Dell's version, I would get rid of that Yahoo bloatware (ridiculous...). I would also want to replace the generic "internet" launch icon and replace it with the official Firefox icon. How can this be done?

Also, is dell finally on top of their repositories and offering frequent updates... or do they still lag behind?

Thanks guys! :mrgreen:
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Matt_H Matt_H is offline
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Default Re: Picking up mini 9 Tuesday... few questions - 04-12-2009, 05:04 PM

That is a good question. My mini 9 arrived at my house about an hour after I left to visit family for an extended Easter weekend, so I can't get my hands on it until I get back home on Tuesday.

Anyway, I personally plan on wiping Dell's Ubuntu off the machine and installing plain vanilla Ubuntu. I may hold off a day or two so I can poke around Dell's version for comparison's sake, but I'll get rid of it pretty soon. I'm doing this for several reasons, mostly involving my interest in going through the install process and staying on the "bleeding edge." I have heard good things about Dell's version, and I applaud any attempt at bringing GNU/Linux to the masses, so I'm not doing this because of any negative opinion of Dell's offering.

As I have not done this yet, the only advice I can give is what I read at - a website specifically about installing vanilla Ubuntu on the Mini 9.

Dell's version is based on the lpia (low powered intel architecture) kernel, which is supposed to increase the time the machine can last on each battery charge among other things. I've heard that moving to vanilla Ubuntu (and the generic kernel) reduces the battery life a little bit, but we're not talking 50% or anything like that. If anyone has real-life experience with this comparison, input is certainly welcome.

If you do decide to keep Dell's version, I don't think it is that difficult to either remove or modify their customizations or to even install UNR on top of their version. Don't know this for sure, though.

Good luck, and I'll post my experience if there is anything I think is noteworthy once I get going.

Obsidian Black Dell Mini 9 | Ubuntu 9.04 | 64 GB Runcore SSD | 2 GB KINGSTON HYPER-X RAM | A05 BIOS | US-International Keyboard | Intel WiFi Link 5350 with third antenna | Orange Neoprene Sleeve
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Sam111111 Sam111111 is offline
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Default Re: Picking up mini 9 Tuesday... few questions - 04-13-2009, 07:28 AM

Dell's 8.04 kernel is irritating - you can't upgrade it, for one, and 8.10 has some cool things.
Dell is crazy behind on their updates [I don't think they're going to make any more: as I said, they're still on 8.04]. I would upgrade - haven't really noticed any difference in battery life between Dell's and 8.10, and 8.10 is just ... better. Upgrade OpenOffice to 3.04 really easily, etc. etc. Dell's kernel is serviceable, but there really isn't a compelling reason to hold off on the upgrade.
I didn't really like UNR when I tried it. Definitely wait until there's an official release before using it, as I had a beta 9.03 [ish, maybe .04? I don't remember where they are.] install that crashed and then stopped working after I put netbook remix on there.
Not sure how to help you with modifying Dell's own version of Ubuntu ... sorry :/. Though you probably won't be using it anyways. :P

Received lowest quality mini 9 with 512 megs RAM, 4 GB SSD. Additions:
-4 GB SSD [2 GB SD Card: getting 16 GB SDHC]
Sold for $180 so I could buy Mini 10, XP/Ubuntu, 160GB HD, 1GB RAM, 1366x768 screen, 6-cell for $260.
[Extra screen space IS AMAZING, as is having a working keyboard]
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lauriem04 lauriem04 is offline
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Default Re: Picking up mini 9 Tuesday... few questions - 04-13-2009, 03:27 PM

I've always wanted to play around with Ubuntu/Linux, but I never felt comfortable enough to scrap Windows on my main laptop so that I could install it. However, I was lucky enough to pick up an 8GB/1GB Ubuntu Mini for less than $180 during one of the Outlet's coupon sales, so I finally have a machine I can experiment with. Anyway, as a newbie, I enjoyed playing around with Dell's version of Ubuntu, but I wasn't crazy about all of the bloatware (especially the Yahoo! stuff) or all of the graphical stuff on the desktop (I like a cleaner look). I also wanted the option to upgrade to 2GB of RAM, but the original Dell kernel only supported 1GB (that problem may have been fixed in a subsequent update, but I'm not positive). At any rate, I was playing around with my Ubuntu Mini one night last week, trying to get rid of some of the bloatware, when I managed to accidentally uninstall something important. The menu bar disappeared from the top of my screen, leaving me with just Dell's graphical interface, so I couldn't even figure out how to get into the terminal to attempt some fixes. I decided my best option was to reinstall the OS since I didn't have any documents, etc. to worry about losing. I had been planning to try Ubuntu 8.10 at some point anyway, so I went ahead and installed that instead of reinstalling the Dell version. I am amazed at how quick and easy it was to get 8.10 up and running. I used UNetBootin to create the LiveUSB, then followed the instructions at and was up and running in less than an hour.

I haven't noticed much, if any, difference in battery life under 8.10. Also, it feels snappier than Dell's 8.04 even though I haven't yet upgraded the RAM from 1GB to 2GB. I would definitely recommend the upgrade.

Mini 9 (910): Cherry Red, N270, 2 GB RAM, 16 GB STEC SSD, XP Home
Mini 10v (1011): Passion Purple, N270, 1 GB RAM, 160 GB HDD, XP Home
Inspiron 11z (1110): Passion Purple, SU4100, 2 GB RAM, 250 GB HDD, Win7
Alienware M11x R1: Cosmic Black, SU7300, 4 GB RAM, 160 GB HDD, Win7
Latitude 2110: Blue Ribbon, N470, 2 GB RAM, 250 GB HDD, Touchscreen, Win7
Zino HD (400): True Blue, Athlon X2 3250e, 4 GB RAM, 500 GB HDD, Win7
Plus a few others not discussed here...
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