Hardware Compatibility Ubuntu Remixes
We are not yet at the point wherein Ubuntu releases work flawlessly on all hardware setups. Sometimes it's because hardware manufacturers make it difficult for Linux developers to write appropriate drivers for the hardware, sometimes it's because the hardware manufacturers offer only closed source binary drivers that Ubuntu will not include for philosophical reasons, and sometimes it's because there are accidental regressions in the software, making something no longer work that had worked before.
If you want regressions fixed for future releases, you should file appropriate bug reports on Launchpad. In the meantime, though, new Ubuntu users are sometimes stuck having to do complicated or even "easy" (for veteran users, anyway) manual fixes and workarounds to get sound, wireless, function keys, sleep, or other hardware functions working properly.
That's where this project comes in.
Hardware compatibility remixes differ from general Ubuntu derivatives in that the focus is on remastering Ubuntu to work with specific sets of hardware. Other derivatives focus on changing default software packages and/or theming.
Guidelines for creating remixes
- Your hardware configuration should be one that popularly comes together. This project is ideal for laptops and netbooks. Only very specialized and non-varying desktops (e.g., Mac Minis) would benefit from hardware compatibility remixes.
- Even though it's okay to change some default packages and themes, the main focus of your remix should be on hardware compatibility. Try not to use outlandish themes or install niche software.
- Document in as much detail as possible the exact steps you took to create the remix.
- If you have programming knowledge, you may also want to offer a script that automates the steps, for users who would prefer a script or have other reasons for not downloading a remix (security/trustworthiness concerns, lack of broadband internet for such a large download, laziness if Ubuntu is already installed).
- Please try to establish yourself as a trusted member of the Ubuntu community in some way before posting a remix. Since it is very difficult to audit the installation to see if there is embedded malicious software or spyware, remixes posted by those who have not yet established themselves within the community may get a red flag of some kind.
Out of respect for Ubuntu's trademark policy, please avoid naming your project with a variation of buntu or with the word Edition in the title.
- As best as you can determine, make sure your remix is legal in as many countries as possible. Do not include binaries you are not free to redistribute.
Creating the actual remix
Creating a remix is quite easy. It is a completely point-and-click process using Remastersys
You may also find this step-by-step tutorial (with screenshots) helpful.
Designed for all Asus Eee PC netbooks but apparently may also work on the Acer Aspire One and Samsung NC10. Comes with either the Ubuntu Netbook Remix interface or standard Gnome interface (separate downloads) and provides fixes for wireless and function keys.
Also designed for the Eee PC netbooks. It's unclear how this differs from Eeebuntu, except that it is in accordance with Ubuntu's trademark policy.
A customization for the Acer Aspire One netbook.
Ubuntu HP Mini Remix project page
Tested thoroughly for the HP Mini 1120nr netbook but also appears to work for other HP Mini 1000 models. Using Ubuntu 9.04 as a base, this fixes sound and wireless-after-suspend-to-RAM, includes the HP Mobile Internet Experience theme, and uses the lpia kernel.
Why create full remixes? Why not just create scripts?
Well, we actually encourage those who have the programming knowledge to create a script to do so in addition to creating a remix. That way users would have more options (use a remix or use a script). Since Remastersys is a completely point-and-click procedure that works off an existing installation, it is actually a lot easier to use to make a remix than a script is to write.
Is there a committee in charge of making these remixes? Can I request a remix be made?
There is no committee. There is no place to submit requests. People will just create remixes for their own hardware setups and volunteer them.
Shouldn't more effort going into fixing bugs and improving the normal Ubuntu instead of making these remixes?
The people making these remixes are rarely, if ever, Ubuntu developers and may not even know how to properly fix these bugs. They are just employing workarounds and providing those workarounds as a convenience for the community until the actual Ubuntu and upstream developers fix whatever bugs are outstanding for the next official Ubuntu release.
How do I know if I can trust these remixes?
It is entirely conceivable that someone could take the trouble to create a remastered Ubuntu .iso that includes fixes for a certain hardware set and also includes some kind of keylogger or spyware. At this point, as far as we know, no such remix exists. There is a certain level of trust that people have put into various remixes (for hardware compatibility or for other purposes). Any suspicious remixes should be flagged on this page.