This is CrunchBang Linux installation guide for MSI Wind U270, but some tricks may also work on another Linux distros and other devices powered by AMD E2-1800 (or similar) processor.  I chose this Linux for blazing fast performance, good essential app set and its simplicity. It starts quickly by using well-configured openBox and GRUB 1.98 <- who needs eye candy bootloader anyway? After start it uses less than 200MB RAM (Ubuntu eats over 500MB, Windows 7 about 1GB)! I recommend #! especially for netbook power users. IMHO CrunchBang is the best Linux distribution for MSI Wind U270 (I tryied  Ubuntu, Xubuntu and Arch Linux).

Let’s get started then!

CrunchBangLinux after start

CrunchBangLinux after start

Download and install

Get CrunchBang (this guide was written for #! 10 backported 64bit version but I recommend you to get the newest one) from download page and write iso file to pendrive (you can do it simply by UNetbootin or by dd command). Put pendrive in your netbook, check in BIOS that system boot from USB and restart machine.

When prompted select installation and follow screen messages. I chose  Polish language (for Polish keyboard, locale and chars) and made ext4 partition for / mount point and swap. UPDATE: I switched to SSD, so this time i chose ext4 with option noatime and without swap partition (I have 8GB physical memory).

On my hardware out of the box #! had generic default graphics and there is no sound (start from CrunchBang 11 “Waldorf” there is native sound support), but with working Wifi and it was nearly fully functional for basic tasks with few essential and useful apps like ice-wheasel (Firefox), VLC, Gimp etc.

After the first boot #! loads a custom script (if you miss it, run cb-welcome in terminal). You can update system and simply install some optional stuff like printer support, LibreOffice, version control tools (like git, svn and mercurial), LAMP, SSH server, Java etc.

Graphics

Make sure you have the latest 64 bit linux-headers and install latest fglrx or use smxi (check tutorial by el_koraco).

I had overscan problem with LCD monitor connected by HDMI. To solve black border around run

 gksudo amdcccle 

Go to display manager -> DTV -> adjustment. Move slider to 0% and click Apply button.

Then run in terminal and quickly log out:

 sudo aticonfig --set-pcs-val=MCIL,DigitalHDTVDefaultUnderscan,0 

Sound

UPDATE: There is new CrunchBang version with sound working out of box so this section is obsolete.

Download newest  High Definition Audio Codecs from Realtek page. Unpack, and compile (readme file may be useful).

I set jack output as default by editing ~/.asondrc file (took card number from aplay -l command):

pcm.!default {
type hw
card 1
}

ctl.!default {
type hw
card 1
}

Reboot machine, turn off mute (alsamixer command) and try some music and movies on VLC player.
If you want use volumeicon taskbar widget (also multimedia hotkeys feature) add on the end of ~/.config/volumeicon/volumeicon file:

[Alsa]
card=hw:1

ATTENTION: only one application can use simple ALSA mechanism at the same time. To mix sounds from few apps consider installing pulseaudio server.

System Language

I wanted to have Polish localization (special chars, currency and UTF-8 console chars) but system overall in English. To do so I run sudo dpkg-reconfigure locales (chose en_US.utf-8 and pl_PL.UTF-8 <-already selected).
After this operation I edited /etc/default/locale:

LANG=pl_PL.UTF-8
LANGUAGE="en_US.UTF-8"
LC_MESSAGES="en_US.UTF-8"

saved and logged out and  in again to apply changes.
If you don’t want system to be English you should try language-selector package.

More apps

I like opera browser so I installed it from RMB on desktop->Network->WWW Browsers-> Install Opera (CrunchBang feature only).

Try install your favorites apps from terminal. For example apt-get install mc for MidnightCommander.

If you want create shortcut to application try out RMB on desktop -> Settings -> OpenBox -> Edit menu.xml (or GUI menu editor).

I also installed Iron browser (secure version of Chromium) by download deb file from SRWare homepage. To add it to WWW Browsers menu (and remove Chrome entry) I  edited /usr/bin/cb-x-www-browser-pipemenu file.

Autostart

To run programs in X (GUI) environment at system start modify ~/.config/openbox/autostart file. You can disable unused features or add your own favorite apps (music player, IM?).

Hard drive head parking

It produces this annoying “clicking” sound and can cause damage your HDD. You can disable it by adding before “exit 0” in /etc/rc.local (startup script) following line:

hdparm -B 255 /dev/sda

255 value disable head parking, you can choose smaller number like 127 (head parks, but not so often).
Be careful with moving around with netbook turned on!

Problem with flash memory?

[added 2. october 2013]

I had problem with USB 2.0 devices, especially #! couldn’t recognize and mount flash memories and USB external storages. The problem was card reader which drivers mess with USB.

To disable card reader add following line to file /etc/modprobe.d/black_list_custom.conf (make file if not exist):

blacklist rts5139

If You need to use the card reader manually install the rts5139 module and then remove it after use:

modprobe rts5139  # load card reader module

modprobe -r rts5139 # unload card reader module

 

Enjoy your extremely fast Linux!

This is my first post in English for wider audience. Please feel free to indicate me spelling or grammar mistakes, thanks in advance!