Ubuntu – The initial install

Ok so I have this EPIA Nehemiah M10000 based PC that I put together as a media center for my lounge.

I generally use it as an MP3 jukebox, playing back movie clips and surfing the web.

I initially ran Windows 2000 on this box but I have had some disk corruption issues in the last few months and have lost all my media at least twice!

Seagate drive tools indicate they drive is ok, but windows keeps messing up.

Two days ago it happened again, so I decided “screw it”; I’ll install the Ubuntu desktop and see how it goes.

Ubuntu has a “live CD” that you can download. It comes as a .iso file that you can use a program such as Nero to burn a bootable CD.

The “live CD” is cool since you can boot from CD, and try out Ubuntu without any installing anything. This is a great way to test if it is going to work with your hardware.

So I booted my media box with the CD. The Ubuntu start-up menu came up and I selected the default option…

Bamm, the TV went all screwy (my media PC is plugged into my TV, I have no monitor attached to it). Mmm, not so good. I hit the reset switch and tried again. This time I noticed that there was an F4 menu option that let me select which VGA mode I wanted to boot up in. I set this to 640×480 and started the boot process again.

Hey presto after half a minute or so I had a nice (and very Mac like) desktop in front of me. Double clicked an example media file that was supplied and got a nice a video clip with sound, just like that.

The only problem was it was all in black and white ! Not deterred I decided to install Ubuntu anyway. So from the System|Administration menu I selected install Ubuntu.

After asking a bunch of questions: where to install to (I asked it to wipe my existing partitions) and what user name and password I wanted to use and my regional settings the install started.

Ten or so minutes later the install finished and I was prompted to remove the “live CD” and reboot. Up came my nice Ubuntu desktop but still in black and white :(

Luckily my media box is wired to my home network and the internet so I opened up Firefox (it comes installed) and started digging around on the web as to why everything was in black and white.

After about 20 minutes I had narrowed it down to the fact that something was incorrectly setup in my xorg.conf file. A little more digging around I made a guess (after seeing a sample configuration on the web) that the desktop was outputting in NTSC not PAL.


Option "TVType" "PAL"

To the Device section of my xorg.conf and rebooting everything came right!

So about 40 minutes for the total install. Not too bad since I have never used the OS before!