I went ahead and got the Adamo from Dell, so here’s my review of it, and what I did to set it up and get it working the way I wanted.
Firstly, on the hardware: AC adapters is the weak point of this guy. For my old MacBook, I had three: one in my bag, one at home, one at the office. While it was a decent extra cost, it was one I undertook after I forgot my adapter a couple times and had to go without for a while—something that everyone with a laptop deals with at some point.
This was particularly a pain since the one that Dell shipped with the laptop died after the first charge—which meant another three days of being unable to use it after I received it. Not cool, Dell.
With the power supply problem fixed, I moved on to getting Linux on the thing. The thing ships with Windows 7, which I wanted to keep on there as an option, and there’s enough travel and sensitive work stuff that I do on my laptops to justify encrypting the disk, which requires using the Ubuntu alternative installer. I also wanted to use LVM for my disks for when I start running out of space and want to shrink the Windows partition.
The way to make this work is non-obvious, and it required two attempts to get going:
- Resize the Windows partition to something less than the full disk. I chose to give it 100G, and allocate the rest for Linux. This works out of the box in the installer, which is nice.
- Setup LVM on the remaining space next.
- 200M for a
- 20G for swap (SSD disk means I assume that hitting swap is nowhere near as painful as it used to be)
- The rest for a root partitiion.
- 200M for a
- Setup encrypted volumes on the LVM partitions you created for root and swap (not
/boot). You want to encrypt your swap as well, because Linux isn’t going to zero-out your swap volume when you shutdown, making it effectively an on-disk memory dump of whatever your applications were doing…
I tried setting up single root/swap partitions on top of a single large encrypted volume, but Ubuntu aparently requires your /boot partition be un-encrypted, so there wasn’t an obvious way to boot it after doing so…
With that issue out of the way, the rest of the installation went smoothly and things booted just fine. I’ll note that Windows 7 boots much faster than Ubuntu 9.10, but I’ve only actually booted the thing from a POST onwards a few times in the last couple weeks, so who cares? The time it takes to resume from sleep is much more important for a laptop, honestly.
With everything installed, I used rsync to copy my documents and such off my old laptop. I had enough disk to rsync my music collection off of my world book, so I went ahead and did that too, and I’ve written a simple upstart config that performs the rsync properly when the network comes back:
#!/bin/bash # Script to dispatch NetworkManager events # # Runs rsync when WiFi or ethernet is connected. set -x if [ -z "$1" ]; then echo "$0: called with no interface" 1>&2 exit 1; fi # Fake ifupdown environment export IFACE="$1" export ACTION="$2" export USERNAME="me" export REMOTE_USERNAME="me" export REMOTE_HOST="stuff.mine.nu" case "$ACTION" in up) if [ "$IFACE" = "eth0" -o "$IFACE" = "wlan0" ]; then if [ -z "$(pidof rsync)" ]; then sudo -n -u $USERNAME rsync -a /home/$USERNAME/Music/* $REMOTE_USERNAME@$REMOTE_HOST:/shares/internal/MUSIC fi fi ;; esac
I used to try and just mount the drive via SSHfs/nautilus and play via Rhythmbox, but it would skip the first 30 seconds of the song, requiring manual intervention every three minutes.
After that comes the custom repositories I’m using to add a little snazziness and breakage:
- Latest and greatest GNOME Shell
- Bleeding Edge Telepathy/Empathy (my at-work XMPP server manages to consistently crash Empathy)
- Nightlies of Firefox 3.6
- Lifesaver screensaver, search term “#fml” 😉
- Chromium Web Browser nightly builds