Install Ubuntu on MSI Wind

The MSI Wind has a spec of 2Gb ram, 160Gb harddisk, and comes with 6 cells battery.

I first use the Wubi Ubuntu Installer to install Wubi 8.10 on Windows. This Ubuntu runs on the Windows file system, so we can test Ubuntu out without creating separate partitions. (The instruction is detailed at Ubuntu 8.04 Hardy Heron - MSI WInd User wiki.

Next, I try to get the networking up. I wasted some time before realizing my MSI Wind has a different wireless card from the one described in the MSI WInd User wiki. I am able to find the wireless adapter used, RT2860 by checking the windows wireless adapter driver. The Linux driver for RT2860, 2008_0918_RT2860_Linux_STA_v1.8.0.0.tar.bz2 can be downloaded from Ralink Technology.

To be able to compile the driver, you need a proper build environment with the appropriate kernel headers

sudo apt-get install build-essential linux-headers-`uname -r`

I have some help from the Ubuntu forum rt2860 Ralink chipset.

I modify the os/linux/ file to set the following:

# Support Wpa_Supplicant


# Support Native WpaSupplicant for Network Maganger


To compile the driver, and then to install the module as root:

sudo make

sudo make install

To check whether the wireless adapter is detected:

sudo /sbin/insmod rt2860sta.ko

sudo modprobe rt2860sta

sudo depmod -a


The wireless interface on my system is listed as ra0 (RT2860 wireless).

To get the wireless adapter to startup on boot, create an executable file rt2860up in /etc/init.d/ with the content:


sudo ifconfig ra0 up

and then run the following commands: (the RT2860STA.dat file is not needed)

cd /etc/init.d

sudo chmod +x rt2860up

cd /etc/rcS.d/

sudo ln - s /etc/init.d/rt2860up S33rt2860up

sudo rm /etc/Wireless/RT2860STA/RT2860STA.dat

Reboot the machine and enable Ubuntu's network manager wireless networking. The machine is able to connect to the home wireless router.

Also, following the instruction from MSI WInd User wiki, my system comes with the 5986:0203 BisonCam (Acer's webcam). After installing the module, we can test the webcam with cheese, Cheese is a cheesy program to take pictures and videos from your webcam.

sudo apt-get install cheese

As my Singnet broadband contract is going to end soon and I will be terminating it, I have signed up for Singtel mobile broadband instead. I choose to receive the Huawei E180 HSPA USB Modem. In Ubuntu 8.10, the network manager can auto-detect the modem as a Huawei E220 model and it can connect to Singtel without a problem.

I install Firestarter, it is a Linux firewall with a GUI (graphical interface) and it can also allow Internet connection sharing.

sudo apt-get install firestarter

In the case when I am using mobile broadband, then the Internet connected network device is ppp0 and the Local network connected device is ra0 (wireless) for the firewall network settings. The firewall can only be started when the Internet connected network device is used.

I also need to create a default route to the internet when connected through mobile broadband, and this can be done automatically by creating a script 2gwroute in the /etc/ppp/ip-up.d (scripts place here are run when the ppp interface is up, connected)


route add default gw $4

Similarly, create a script 2gwroute in the /etc/ppp/ip-down.d (scripts place here are run when the ppp interface is down)


route delete default gw $4

Once, everything is working, I decide to run Ubuntu on its own partition. First, we can install GParted, a Partition Editor, and use it to create partitions for Ubuntu.

sudo apt-get install gparted

I delete the D drive empty partition and create a primary partition as the root partition (/dev/sda3), and create an extended partition which is sub-divided into a small partition use as swap partition and the remaining to be use for /home . After this, we can upgrade the Wubi install to a standard Ubuntu system, by using the Loopmounted Virtual Partition Manager (LVPM). LVPM allows you to transfer all the data, settings, and applications from your original Wubi install to a dedicated partition. Download the LVPM package and install it. Run LVPM, select the "transfer" option and then select a partition to install to (in my case, /dev/sda3), and wait for your installation to be transferred over to the partition.

Again, using the instruction from MSI WInd User wiki, after rebooting the machine and entering the GRUB Bootloader screen, the GRUB cannot boot up the Ubuntu because the partition is set wrongly. This can be fixed with: after selecting the top item Ubuntu 8... , hit e to edit the item.

There should be three lines on the screen.

Scroll down to the line that says:

root ()/ubuntu/disks

and change it to:

root (hd0,X)

X should be the partition number you transferred

Ubuntu to using LVPM minus 1.

In my case /dev/sda3 is the 3rd partition, and

in GRUB, it is hd0,2 (GRUB starts from 0)

Once this line is edited, hit Enter to accept the editing, then b to boot.

Ubuntu should now boot up. You can make the changes permanent to fix your boot forever, by making the same changes in /boot/grub/menu.lst

The last thing is to move the /home directory to my last partition. Follow the instruction from this Ubuntu blog.


blog comments powered by Disqus