Tethered, Net-Install of Xubuntu

I don’t think I can write about anything more esoteric and useless, but maybe this will help one person somewhere.

Xubuntu? What the hell is that? I knew of Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Edubuntu, Ubuntu Netbook Remix, etc. but never heard of Xubuntu. I found it when trying to get an Ubuntu distro on my old G3 iBook. According to DistroWatch, Xubuntu is

a Linux distribution based on Ubuntu. Unlike its parent, however, Xubuntu uses the light-weight XFce desktop environment and is optimised for lower-end machines. The distribution includes only GTK+ applications where possible.


I go and grab the PPC iso image and try to burn to disc, but the image is too large to fit on a CD. I realize I’m not the only one with this problem and there is no solution other than installing from an iPod, USB drive, etc. which I don’t have. I then stumbled upon the Minimal CD Installation for Ubuntu and this what I did:

1) Get a host machine connected online as a proxy
The iBook only comes AirPort ready and I have a wireless network and am too lazy to walk downstairs to plug straight into the router. With My MacBook Pro, I set up Internet sharing. Next is an important step that I see many people get wrong. In System Preferences, go to Sharing, click on Internet Sharing and set your machine to share From AirPort To Ethernet. You don’t have to touch anything in the Network pane. Last step is to obviously connect the computers via Ethernet cable (crossover not required).

2) Boot client machine from the Minimal CD
Startup the iBook with the CD in the tray and hold down ‘c’. This will initiate the install sequence. Don’t worry about seeing Ubuntu everywhere, we will get into Xubuntu. There are a few steps to go through here – keyboard layout, timezone, etc – just follow along until you get to the main distro installation page. Select Xubuntu and proceed with the installation. If everything went correctly with the tethering in Step 1, you’re pretty much done.

3) Possible problems
USB errors – “unable to enumerate USB device on port X” errors. These popped up during the initial installation, but after getting Xubuntu running, they went away.
Tethering fails – try changing the host machine network settings to DHCP.

There really isn’t much more to it than that. This was actually an easy project, but required a bunch of wasted time on the original PPC ISO. Hope this helps someone.

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