Debian plus EeePC plus Navit

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How to setup an EeePC with encrypted /home + lxlauncher on an Asus eeePC 701SD

Do a base debian-eeepc install, wifi on the 701SD isn't included as a default kernel module, so whip out a lan cable.

Download and you can copy it to USB stick or memory card by the following command

  • dd if=debian-eeepc.img of=/dev/<YOUR-USB-DEVICE>

When you get to partitioning, select manual

  • allocate most of the space to /, I also suggest making sure you select noatime, although some suggest relatime but I've never had an issue.
  • allocate the partition you plan to use for encrypted /home, but instead of setting /home, select "don't use"

When you get to tasksel, unselect desktop and standard system to minimise the install size. The rest of the install is pretty straight forward.

After the first reboot is when the fun starts. login as root, or if you disabled root logins, login as your user account and 'sudo -i' the /home partition I'll be using is /dev/sda2 if you have more than 2 partitions and/or set things up differently to me then make sure you know the partition reference or you could do really bad things to your system :)

for the paranoid you may want to wipe over the partition with semi-random data from /dev/urandom

  • dd if=/dev/urandom of=/dev/sda2

from there you need to run the following command to install the crypto apps

  • apt-get install cryptsetup

And to prepare your partition to be encrypted, formated and mounted. You'll be prompted for a password during the first 2 steps. Loose the password and you can kiss your data goodbye!

  • cryptsetup luksFormat /dev/sda2
  • cryptsetup luksOpen /dev/sda2 crypto_test
  • mkfs.ext3 -m0 /dev/mapper/crypto_test
  • mount /dev/mapper/crypto_test /mnt

It's probably as good a time as ever to add your partition to /etc/crypttab

  • sda2_crypt /dev/sda2 none luks

Next append the following line to /etc/fstab to have it automatically mount to /home

  • /dev/dm-0 /home ext3 noatime,commit=120 0 2

You might also consider adding ,commit=120 to the root partition so the system writes less often extending the life of your SSD.

To make wifi work on the 701SD, do this:

It's useful to reboot at this point in time to check the encrypted partition loads properly etc and to get the wireless to load as well.

If you login as root (see above) and then type iwconfig and you should see a large block of text next to one interfaces. If not, the wireless still isn't working.

Some useful packages:

  • apt-get install xserver-xorg-video-vesa xserver-xorg-core xserver-xorg-input-kbd xserver-xorg-video-intel xserver-xorg-input-mouse xserver-xorg-input-synaptics

Then edit /boot/grub/menu.lst and change # defoptions= to # defoptions=vga=785 quiet and change # kopt=root=/dev/sda1 ro to # kopt=root=/dev/sda1 ro elevator=deadline

Use 785 for 800x480 screen resolution, 791 for bigger. Then run

  • update-grub

If you try to install some of these packages before basic xorg packages it will try to download all video and input drivers which aren't needed.

  • apt-get install xfce4 debfoster icedove pidgin pidgin-otr enigmail evince network-manager-gnome gdm xfce4-weather-plugin xfce4-places-plugin xfce4-datetime-plugin xfce4-battery-plugin xfce4-clipman-plugin

Command to make networkmanager work, pointy clicky network connection stuff

  • adduser <your-username> netdev

If you want office programs

  • apt-get install

Some tweaks to prolong the life of your SSD:

  • Edit /etc/default/rcS and change RAMRUN=no and RAMLOCK=no to RAMRUN=yes and RAMLOCK=yes

Edit /etc/fstab and add tmpfs /tmp tmpfs defaults 0 0

Once you finish installing the above, reboot and the gdm login screen should show, log in, you can't login as root, so log in as the user you created. You can now launch lxlauncher manually, or if you go into the settings folder of the start menu and click on "Autostarted Applications", click "Add" and in the name field type "lxlauncher", description can be blank, and in the command field type the following:

  • /usr/bin/lxlauncher

Then click ok and close. If you logout and back in you should see lxlauncher automatically start up!

Instead of firefox give Opera a whirl, it's far less bloated and comes stock with most of the features you need to download to make firefox usable.

Regardless of what browser you choose to use, you will most likely want to view flash. You can get that by doing the following:

  • apt-get install flashplayer-mozilla flashplugin-nonfree-extrasound gsfonts-x11

The smaller eeePCs make a great in car computer, you can even get easy mounting kits from ebay for not much money, and if you want street maps, you will most likely need a GPS unit, I highly recommend the iBlue 757 Pro, I picked mine up for about AU$70 including postage on ebay and it came with a nifty windscreen mount + car charger.

Regardless of which app you end up using, you will need gpsd.

  • apt-get install gpsd

I found the iblue 757 is auto detected by both current debian + the stock installed xandros. gpsd doesn't run by default, so once you've plugged your GPS in, you'll need to tell gpsd where the device is, it defaults to /dev/ttyUSB0 which is what the GPS device defaults to as well funnily enough.

Then fire up gpsd, even as a non-root user:

  • gpsd -n /dev/ttyUSB0

TangoGPS is an easy app to use, but doesn't do routing, if this doesn't bother you you can go ahead and install it.

  • apt-get install tangogps

Once installed you can now fire up tangogps, it appears for me under the work tab of lxlauncher, or from the start menu.

Another app is navit, it does both mapping and rounting and text to speech directions, however it's only in the testing repository so you'll need to manually download it. For setup details go here:

It uses maps by default, OSM is to maps, what wikipedia is to encyclopedias. If the maps are somewhat lacking for your area, you are more than welcome to help out using the online potlatch editor, or the more powerful JOSM editor which you can download from here:

At the time of writing, JOSM didn't work at all in the Open Source Java, so install sun's version:

  • apt-get install sun-java5-jre

If you installed openoffice, you will need to set the sun java as the default:

  • update-java-alternatives -s java-5-sun

You will need to create a launcher for JOSM unless you plan to start it from the command line all the time:

  • wget -O /usr/share/pixmaps/josm.png

Edit /usr/share/applications/josm.desktop and paste the following into it:

[Desktop Entry]
Comment=Import GPX files and upload Open Street Map data
Exec=java -jar /usr/share/java/josm-tested.jar

The simplest way to support OSM is by uploading your GPS traces, .gpx files, you can do this from within JOSM by installing the livegps plugin which also talks to gpsd and the directupload plugin, you may find the surveyor plugin useful but I didn't find it all that helpful.

Having problems with sound issues? Check out this wiki page: