Saturday, September 5, 2009

It's official: AROS runs on netbooks (natively!)

You shouldn't ever do experiments at night, before going to bed, or you'll risk to rest much, much later than you expected. I was just placing my netbook (an Acer Aspire One) on charge, when I thought: "why don't I try booting Icaros Desktop 1.1.4 using my USB DVD drive?". And so I did. I turned on my computer, pressed F12 at boot to choose the boot device, entered my USB DVD drive and... boot stopped immediately after Grub menu. But I tried again, this time moving the DVD unit from the left side USB port to another one placed on the right side of the machine. I pressed F12 again, entered Grub menu and added the 'enableusb' parameter to grub options and... voilĂ :

AROS booted fine and I could even see what's connected to USB bus with Trident. So, if you wish to test AROS on your netbook, you only need:

- a USB DVD drive
- Icaros Desktop Live or Light 1.1.4, or a recent AROS nightly build
- some patience

The procedure is simple: just plug your DVD drive in the first USB port (if it doesn't work, change port and reboot), turn on your netbook, choose the DVD drive as boot device (on the Aspire One you should just press F12) and wait for Grub menu. When it appears, press 'E' immediately and add this parameter


just right before 'VESA=32bit'. Press Ctrl+X to continue booting and... enjoy! Well, AROS boots fine and runs quite fast, but there is still no sound, no network, no wi-fi and you can only boot in VESA 800x600 mode, but at least USB works and this is a good beginning. Now we have only to hope that some nice developer will help us all with the necessary drivers.