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The Everex Cloudbook CE1200V. Not *exactly* a brick…

by on Jun.01, 2008, under Linux

Uncle Sam recently decided to task me with spending some of his money, in an effort to stimulate the economy. Being thusly stimulated, I felt it my national duty to spend it. So, I bought an Everex Cloudbook.. Don’t laugh.. The WLAN adapter uses an RTL8187 chipset, perfect for breaking encryption on wireless networks. (and *quickly*)  I booted the factory-installed gOS, and clicked around in it for about 10 minutes before wiping it. (first mistake)  However, installing alternate OSes on it seems to be quite a feat. There’s no optical drive, so your choices are to boot to an external CD/DVD, USB device, or PXE netboot.

For this, I choose to PXE netboot. (I have a few OpenBSD servers around, and all you really need to netboot something is a DHCP server and a tftp server. Both of which are built in to every OpenBSD base install.)

Apparently, because the wireless card is a USB device, you need the “wifid” binary from the default OS to activate the power button to turn it on. So, after wiping it, the only connectivity I had available was via patch cable.  The *good* news was that Everex offers a download of the Cloudbook ISO. The bad news is that it’s about 1 GB.  I downloaded it, and mounted it with <code> # mkdir /media/cloudbook && mount -o loop Cloudbook.iso /media/cloudbook </code> I then copied the wifid binary to my laptop, and then to a USB flash drive. I also downloaded the netboot installer for the Ubuntu 8.04LTS release, and placed it into the tftp root on my DHCP server. I altered the dhcpd.conf to include the MAC address of the Cloubook and name of the kernel to boot. Installing Ubuntu 8.04LTS via netboot was really fast on the LAN, and finished in about an hour. (without CPU frequency scaling built into the generic kernel, the Cloudbook’s VIA C-7M processor will only run at 600mHz)

After recompiling the kernel, the CPU now runs at 1.2 gHz. The CPU frequency scaling governor is set to “ondemand” by default, so I manually turn it up when connected to AC. <code> # cpufreq-selector -g performance </code>

Oops, when recompiling the kernel, I forgot to enable the sound card. Back to compiling the kernel..

Anyway, if you get stuck, there’s a great forum with lots of helpful information regarding the Cloudbook here: http://www.netbookuser.com . Props to Dimethoxyhead for the CPU scaling information.

:,

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