Categorized | Hands-On

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Coming To You from Ubuntu on the ARM-based AC100. (Update: Video)

Posted on 02 October 2010 By Steve Chippy Paine


I’ve installed Ubuntu on my Toshiba AC100 ‘smartbook’ and I’m accessing my WordPress back-end via Firefox 3.6. This is a test to see if I can create and post an entry.

You should see a photo on the right (uploaded from the filesystem on the AC100)

Wifi is obviously working and considering i’m running this from an SD card the experience isn’t too bad. It’s locking-up from time to time as the OS works with the filesystem but i’m seeing some quite impressive CPU-related performance.

An interesting example of the performance is the SunSpider result i’ve just got from Firefox 3.6. Its the fastest result i’ve ever seen on an ARM-based device.

Firefox SunSpider Test on AC100.jpg

Click to enlarge that image and click here to view the gallery i’m creating as I go. (You’ll see OpenOffice is working!)

This feels like a seminal moment for productive smart-books. There’s lots to fix and improve but for a base install, i’m impressed.

Expect a video soon… Update: Video now available below.

21 Responses to “Coming To You from Ubuntu on the ARM-based AC100. (Update: Video)”

  1. cal says:

    Sweet, I’m ordering mine tonight. Any tips for getting one in the USA? The only place I’ve found that will ship here is conics.net.

    How long does it take OpenOffice to start?

  2. cal says:

    Sorry for the double post… Could we get a video?

  3. cal says:

    Wow, I can’t read. You already answered that.

  4. codedivine says:

    Do you know if 3d graphics acceleration is working? You can try doing “glxinfo”?

  5. pablo says:

    Chippy, you get United States love all day! Since there is room in side of the unit do you think the SD card or maybe a ssd could be modded internally for boot use?

  6. pierre says:

    4.8sec on this sunspider test is quite good … I got 3.2sec on my p1610 running windows fennec 1.2beta

  7. pierre says:

    (for completeness sake I got 3.1sec running firefox 3.6.10)

  8. Iain says:

    Battery life?

    How is Netbook Remix?

  9. Chippy says:

    Had a day off today but i’m planning to do more testing and get a video together tomorrow. Current status is no reason to buy an AC100 but i guess progress will accelerate from here.

  10. Greg says:

    Your progress on this device amazes me, I hope you can keep up the good work with this.
    I noticed that flash hasn’t been ported over yet. Have you tried to install Gnash instead?

  11. cal says:

    I have used sharp netwalker’s flash light on a couple different arm devices. You might want to try it. jkkmobile.com hosts a copy @ http://www2.jkkmobile.com/FlashLite3.1_Firefox_plugin.tar.gz

  12. sven says:

    About the IO lockups; have you tried different IO schedulers, eg the “noop” scheduler?

  13. P4man says:

    Chippy,

    Thanks a lot for that. Ive been waiting for centuries for ubuntu on an ARM laptop.

    Can you please run some benchmarks using phoronix test suite? Its in the repo’s or get it here:
    http://www.phoronix-test-suite.com/

    You can upload the results to phoronix so it can be compared with other platforms. THis would be extremely interesting to see.

    Thanks again!

  14. admin says:

    eek. Its a huge install. Trying now for you.

  15. admin says:

    Looks like the Ubuntu repo version is out of date. “Tests response is: An outdated version of the Phoronix…..”

    Is there a simpler test we can do?

  16. Eric Sanders says:

    Great stuff,

    I believe Sony is picking up on it.

    What I would be very interested in is putting Jolicloud on the AC10. This is a cloudbased OS based on Ubuntu that is far superior and much faster.
    Here some links:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fLmt8XH8L-Y
    http://www.jolicloud.com/

  17. P4man says:

    Late reply, not sure if you are still reading but you can download the latest version here:

    http://www.phoronix-test-suite.com/?k=downloads

    Just grab the ubuntu package (~500Kb), I think it should run on ARM too. Once installed, open a terminal and type

    phoronix-test-suite list-tests
    That will list all available tests. To run one type

    phoronix-test-suite benchmark

  18. Svgt says:

    Hi,

    I am using a HP Compaq AirLife 100. Original with Android 1.6. It has a similar ARM processor: Qualcomm QSD8250 Snapdragon with 1 GHz. Is there a chance to run this Ubuntu 10.10 for me?

  19. chippy says:

    The boot hacking process will be total different on the Airlife. Its a good device though. Better battery life than AC100 plus you have the touchscreen.did it ever get android 2.2?

  20. Svgt says:

    I never tried Android other than the original 1.6. HP does not deliver a better one. You know something about the boot hacking process?

    I tried with home+power buttons to get in recovery mode. Then you can choose:

    ALT+L menu of actions
    ALT*W wipe factory reset
    ALT*S apply sdcard:update.zip

  21. chippy says:

    Sorry. I have no idea how to hack the Airlife 100. I forgot its 1.6 too. Wow.