ASRock mini – Part 1.

I decided to replace one of my very old workstation with much smaller but powerful enough workstation that can easily be moved around the house. I bought ASRock ION 330HT nettop to the delight of my TOH.
My primary OS from now on will be Ubuntu 10.04 – yes, the time has finally come to move from Windows to Linux – at least at home. With the exception of a couple of “MS only” software; VPN client that I need to connect to my workplace and Photomatix HDR software, I can’t think of another reason why would I still need MS Windows at home?

Don’t get me wrong! Windows (XP/7) is stable desktop OS, no question about that – I’m not leaving Windows because of instability or because it’s a closed source, non-free operating system, not even because it’s the most insecure OS out there. No, nothing close to usual fairy tails you can read on the net. I’m changing Windows for Linux because Linux is different: it’s simply fun to use and as such represents a fresh air in my life.

I’ll start a short series of notes dedicated to how did I tweak Ubuntu to serve me at home where I need to test occasionally some Oracle SW, write some python code, scan documents, process RAW pictures from my DSLR camera, etc.
I might even try to put in use remote control that I got with ASRock and that was designated for Windows7 Media Center.

All that said I admit that I decided to dual boot Ubuntu with Windows7, just in case if I don’t find suitable software for processing HDR photos on Linux, at least at the level of Photomatix. Other than that, I hope I could eventually wipe out Windows7 partition.

Installing Ubuntu on ASRock is trivial and will not be covered at all in my notes. Let’s rather start by installing OracleXE and some other tools….

  1. Optimize ext4 file system (I’m willing to accept some risk associated with it!):
    # Step 1) 
    # I have Ubuntu on /dev/sda5
    $ sudo tune2fs -o journal_data_writeback /dev/sda5
    # Step 2)
    Edit /etc/fstab and change options (I added noatime,data=writeback,barrier=0,nobh), so my fstab for ext4 partition looks like:
    #Entry for /dev/sda5 :
    UUID=421467f3-e8d5-490b-973e-edf509652bfe	/	ext4	noatime,data=writeback,barrier=0,nobh,errors=rmount-ro  0   1
    # Everything must be on the same line!
    # Step 3)
    Reboot the system.

    See note for the reference before changing anything on file system!

  2. Install OracleXE – this is trivial…
    First edit your /etc/apt/sources.list and add line:

    $ sudo nano /etc/apt/sources.list

    then add the following line at the end:

    deb unstable main non-free

    then add GPG key for authorization:

    $ wget  -O- | sudo apt-key add -
    $ sudo apt-get update
    $ sudo apt-get install oracle-xe
    Above command will take care of dependency as well and install libaio (version 0.3.104-1 at the time of this writing). 
    You must finish OracleXE installation running the script:
    $ sudo /etc/init.d/oracle-xe configure 
    If everything gets configured well, you should see message:
    Starting Oracle Net Listener...Done
    Configuring Database...Done
    Starting Oracle Database 10g Express Edition Instance...Done
    Installation Completed Successfully.
    To access the Database Home Page go to ""
    $ sudo apt-get install oracle-xe-client

    Note that I prefer oracle-xe (Western Europe) over oracle-xe-universal, because I can then easily change code page to EE8MSWIN1250 (yes this is not a mistake, my code page of choice on Linux is indeed EE8MSWIN1250 and not for example EE8ISO8859P2).

  3. Install some usual tools (listed in arbitrary order):
    VLC Player:

    $ sudo apt-get install vlc vlc-plugin-pulse mozilla-plugin-vlc


    $ sudo apt-get install keepassx


    $ sudo apt-get install wifi-radar

    Google Chrome

    download deb from

    Foxit Reader for Linux (my favorite pdf reader on Windows):

    download from

    Install NTFS config (this is dual-boot machine with Windows7):

    $ sudo apt-get install ntfs-config

Posted on 10.08.2010, in Linux, PostgreSQL, etc. and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on ASRock mini – Part 1..

Comments are closed.