ViglenMPC

The Viglen MPC-L is a small but functional computer that is shipped with Xubuntu.

Specification

  • Processor: Geode 400Mhz

  • RAM: 512 MB (which is the maximum the device will take)

  • Hard disk: 80 GB (at time of writing)

  • Expansion: 6 USB slots (2 1.0, 4 2.0)

Special offer through UUPC

The Ubuntu UK podcast reviewed the MPC-L in their S01E11 episode.

Listen to that episode to find out how to order the MPC-L for £79.

Installing Ubuntu

As the Viglen MPC-L has no optical drive, but will boot off a USB stick it's probably easiest to use that method to install. Using http://lubi.sourceforge.net/unetbootin.html it is possible to create USB stick from an Ubuntu install CD. The netinst or alternate ISO images seem best because the graphical environment of the Live CD is a bit too painful to sit through.

When installing off a USB stick, you need to use the USB ports on the back of the device. In addition you need to plug the keyboard into a rear USB port too.

No Installable kernel was found in the defined APT source

Installation may fail with the following error "No Installable kernel was found in the defined APT source" , a workaround posted in the forums is possible:

Let the installation continue (say Yes to the message asking if you want to continue without installing a kernel).

At the final prompt "Installation complete" (i.e. the one that appears just before it goes down for reboot), do the following:

  • Press Alt+F3 to switch to a virtual console, then press Enter to activate it.
  • Type "apt-install linux-image-generic"
  • Wait for the prompt to re-appear (you can monitor progress by pressing Alt+F4, but you must Alt+F3 to see whether it's actually finished)
  • When the installation of the kernel is complete, press Alt+F1 to return to the installer, and press Enter with the Continue button highlighted to reboot the system

Known Problems

  • (FIXED IN KARMIC) https://bugs.edge.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/linux/+bug/318805 - " Missing pata_cs5535 module for geode based controllers". To work around this do the following:-

    • Start the alternate installer, and _before_ it gets to the partitioning step, switch to the 4th terminal with ALT+F4,
    • Bring the network connection up "dhclient eth0"
    • wget http://popey.com/~alan/viglen/2.6.28-11-generic_pata_cs5535.ko

    • "mv 2.6.28-11-generic_pata_cs5535.ko pata_cs5535.ko"
    • "insmod pata_cs5535.ko"
    • Switch back to VT1 with ALT+F1, and continue install
  • Standard kernel for Ubuntu Intrepid appears to use a console font which the Geode video card cannot do. This results in a corrupted screen part way through the boot process - even in recovery mode.
    • To resolve this I had to mount the disk on another machine and then chroot it. I then made sure all standard repos were enabled including -updates, did an update/dist-upgrade and then put the disk back in the Viglen. All was well.
  • The system needs to be booted with the kernel boot option pci=noacpi

Useful blog posts

ViglenMPC (last edited 2011-04-29 10:32:45 by linickx)