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Installing Fedora 11 on a HP Mini 1030NR

(This should also work for any HP Mini 1000 series netbook)
Use this information at your own risk.

When I purchased my Mini it came with Windows XP. My first decision out of the box was to take the easy route and put the HP's new Linux MIE image on it. This worked well and was fairly snappy. However I use this machine alot and I was not fond of learning a new interface and I am also a creature of habbit, so I wanted to go with a full version of the fedora OS.

There are plenty of options as far as linux distro's go. I am fond of Fedora since it is what I have been using since my introduction to linux about 18 months ago. If you are new to linux, I would suggest installing Ubuntu which has better hardware support and works well with the HP mini out of the box. Another option would be to use Ubuntu's new Netbook Remix. I have not tried it myself, but from what I have read around the net it seems to work well with this machine also.

A couple of side notes before we get started. My machine was upgraded to 2GB of RAM. I would suggest this for anyone about to install a full linux OS on their machine. You can buy a 2GB stick from crucial for about $25. Also, before you get started make sure your machine is running on AC power not battery and have a wired network connection before starting. We will need that to download the broadcom software.

Installing Fedora 11:
I do not have a external CD drive so I opted to use a USB stick. Any USB stick 1GB or over can be used. I downloaded liveusb-creator and used that to download and copy the fedora 11 live CD to my USB stick.

Download live-usb-creator using one of the links below:

Live-usb Creator for Windows:
Download and extract the zip file, then run the exe file by doubleclicking it.

Live-usb Creator for Fedora:
Open a terminal and become root. Type 'yum -y install liveusb-creator' and let the process complete. Then type liveusb-creator in the same terminal window.

NOTE: Fedora 11 was still in Beta when I started writing this (5/25/2009) but will be released in just 8 days.

Now that you have liveusb-creator started, select Fedora 11 beta (i686) for the Download fedora drop down box. Select your target device and click Create Live USB. Sicne we are going to be installing this we do not have any need for persistent storage, you can leave that at 0MB.

You will see Copying live CD to USB device and it should finish fairly quickly. Once it's complete, unmount or safely remove (windows) your USB stick from the machine.

Make sure you HP Mini is powered off and insert the USB stick. Turn the machine on and start tapping f9 to enter the boot menu. I say keep tapping because it pops up and disappears rather quickly. Once the boot menu appears use the up/down arrows to select your USB stick and hit enter to boot from it.

Now that you have booted from the USB stick it's time to install to the SSD (hard drive). Click on the icon on the Desktop that reads Install to Hard Drive.

Follow the on-screen instructions and this should be a breeze. Select use entire disk unless you have other ideas for the machine.
NOTE: This will erase ALL data on your hard drive. If you have anything you would like to save please back it up before starting!

Once the install is complete you will be congratulated by the Fedora team. Shut down the machine and remove the USB stick. Now turn the machine on and complete the installation by creating a user and profile.

That's it... You now have Fedora 11 on your HP Mini, BUT, you have no wireless connections. :( Continue reading....

NOTE: A few people have told me that they did not have any wired connection as well. It worked for me without issues, If I can find someone with instructions on how to get the wired connection working, I will update it here.

Let's get the wireless working....

First we need to enable the rpmfusion non-free and the rpmfusion free repositories. Open a terminal and use "su -" to become root.

In the terminal type:

rpm -Uvh

Now we will update and install the drivers. This also has to be done as root.

yum update

yum install broadcom-wl

Now that we have the drivers installed, let's reboot the machine.

After the machine boots back up you should now have working wireless. If it is still not working here is some pointers where to look:

* Go to System > Administration > Network and select the wireless device then click edit. Make sure both "Controlled by Network Manager" and "Activate device when computer starts" are checked. Close the network configuration window and select Yes to save changes.

Now let's go back to the terminal and make sure NetworkManager is running and is set to run at boot.

Open and terminal and "su -" to root then type the following commands one at a time.

service NetworkManager restart

chkconfig NetworkManager on

Ok, now lets reboot the system one more time and you should be off to the races.

Additional Notes:

* I have found that everything else works out of the box with Fedora 11. I have confirmed the webcam works contrary to some reports on the web. I did not however get the internal microphone working. I will post back here soon as I get that worked out.

* You may notice that some of the windows (dialog boxes) do not fully fit on the screen (@1024x768). Read below for how I dealt with the problem.

Dealing with 1024 x 768 resolution of a netbook:

When I first installed fedora 11 I noticed that some of the windows and dialog boxes were a little too large for my screen which cut off the bottom of the windows. This hid the important close and help buttons. Here are a few things I have done to make the resolution of the small netbook displays more managable.

First I removed the bottom panel (right click panel and select delete this panel), then I moved the top panel to the bottom (just a preference). I also made this panel smaller and set it to auto hide.

Right click panel and select properties to open the panel properties window. In the Orientation drop down select bottom (or leave it if you like the panel at the top). Set the size to the minimum (22 for me) and place a check in the Autohide box.

Next I set the fonts used by the system to be a bit smaller, but still readable:

System > Preferences > Appearance then select the fonts tab.

You may want to experiment with what is comfortable to your eyes here. I set all the fonts to 8 except the window title font which I made 7.

Then select the interface tab and set the toolbar button labels to Icons Only. This will also save some space in each window that opens.

Good luck and Enjoy your new HP Mini, I love mine! :)

1 comment:

  1. I followed this document and I'm pretty sure it helped, but it didnt fix the problem straight away.

    I found this forum helped and downloaded some stuff i needed -

    but in the end what got the wireless to work properly was by going into Network management settings and adding the wireless network manually. click Add>Wireless> and then find the scan button. select ur wifi network, it will prompt your for a password.

    At first i couldnt get the wireless tab to work until i followed the instructions on this page and the ones in the forum, somewhere some how it worked.