Find the answer to your Linux question:
Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 11
Reason for Problem I travel often for long periods of time (4-7 months) and have taken a netbook with me for the past 4 years. I am a touch typist ...
Enjoy an ad free experience by logging in. Not a member yet? Register.
  1. #1
    Just Joined!
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    4

    Want to Install Linux on a Netbook that has Chinese-Language ONLY XP


    Reason for Problem

    I travel often for long periods of time (4-7 months) and have taken a netbook with me for the past 4 years. I am a touch typist (80 wpm), so I don't want to deal with a pad, and Chromebooks seem to have too many limitations for me to want one as my only computing device over such long periods of time.

    I bought my netbook under unusual circumstances. I had been in China using cyber cafes when the government suddenly changed the rules. Only persons with Chinese ID cards could continue to use cybercafes. (ID cards had to be turned in at the desk, were scanned, and, I presume, the government kept a record of every website visited by each individual.) I went to government offices in two cities to complain that foreigners with a passport should be exempted to no avail. I even backtracked 7 hours by train to the last cyber cafe that let me use a computer only to find that it was a national rule that was also observed there.

    I was to be in China for at least 7 more weeks, and I had no way to communicate with the outside world, so I went to an IT mall and bought a Samsung NP-N148 Atom Notebook with a 250 GB hard drive and NO optical drive. It had Windows XP Chinese Language version installed with NO multi-language pack. Through trial and error I learned how to use it, and I managed to download Chrome and a few other programs in their English language version which made life much simpler. I never found a way to install the multi-language pack without buying a new version of Windows; it would not install online no matter how or where I tried, and my research seemed to show that I was at a dead end.

    My Problem
    I am tired of never knowing exactly what pop-up screens are telling me. Plus XP is expiring. And none of the alternative devices available (pads or Chromebooks), as I noted above, seems good to me. Therefore, I am wondering if I could install Linux in place of XP on this machine. These questions, however, are important:

    1. Would the installation process involve the Chinese language since everything else on this computer seems to be in Chinese? When trying to install Linux 2-3 years ago via an online download, it never completed and I couldn't figure out why because all the selection and explanation screens were in Chinese! That, however, was probably because I was going through Windows to do the download.

    2. I think downloading the installation to a disk on my home computer and then installing it to my netbook via an external optical drive attached by USB port would be my best way to do it--IF I don't have to deal with the Chinese language (Question 1). Does anyone suggest otherwise? Does anyone suspect I would still have a Chinese language problem with this process or others they might suggest?

    3. Which version of Linux would you suggest that I use for this particular situation (no matter what your recommendation for a process to get it installed into my computer)?

    Sorry this is such a long entry. It would be so nice if someone has encountered this problem before, but I doubt it from my research. I will appreciate any help or suggestions anyone can give me. I can live with XP in Chinese, but I bet I would be much happier with Linux. And I am not about to pay Microsoft for a second program for this same computer which is 4 years old and included XP in its purchase price.

  2. #2
    Linux Guru
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Tucson AZ
    Posts
    3,190
    If the BIOS on the computer is Chinese, the Linux medium you use to install it isn't going to change that. The installation medium should come in most major languages so that should not be a problem. Not sure how/why you encountered the problem with the Chinese language other than you were doing the download on your xp Chinese OS. Was this a netinstall? Get a Live medium either by downloading the iso file and then burning it to a CD/DVD or putting it on a flash drive, boot with it and proceed with the install.

    You haven't really given any information on what you will use the computer for so the site below has a large number of Linux distributions, links to their home page where you can find more info on one you think might be appropriate. There is a listing of the top 100 on the right of the page under Page Hit Ranking. If you are still in China, there may be limitations/restrictions on the download, I don't know.

    DistroWatch.com: Put the fun back into computing. Use Linux, BSD.

  3. #3
    Linux Guru rokytnji's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Desert
    Posts
    4,115
    During a Linux install or even a Puppy Linux live Bootup. Language and Keyboard settings are offered and also a Keyboard test during the install.
    If Chinese Keyboard characters physically on the keys. Well, Gnu/Linux can't change that. Maybe a white Magic Marker or new keyboard?

    My how to from long ago on my eeepc 900 that I sold recent like, with screenshots.

    antiX-forum - View topic - AntiX 11 EEEPC 900 Install (Finished)

    I just use a pendrive install instead of

    2. I think downloading the installation to a disk on my home computer and then installing it to my netbook via an external optical drive attached by USB port would be my best way to do it--IF I don't have to deal with the Chinese language (Question 1). Does anyone suggest otherwise? Does anyone suspect I would still have a Chinese language problem with this process or others they might suggest?
    The distro I put on my eeepc 900 that made it sell like a hot cake was DistroWatch.com: LXLE

    I guess it made the buyer feel like he was on Windows XP.
    Linux Registered User # 475019
    Lead,Follow, or get the heck out of the way. I Have a Masters in Raising Hell
    Tech Books
    Free Linux Books
    Newbie Guide
    Courses at Home

  4. #4
    Administrator MikeTbob's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    7,864
    I'm not too sure about the Chinese language settings but given that you have no optical drive, I think you might be able to use Unetbootin to install many different versions of Linux and you may also use it to install any version you want to try. You can install it inside Windows XP and use it to install to a USB drive or the internal HDD.
    UNetbootin - Homepage and Downloads

    I'd fart around in the BIOS and see if there is an option to change the language.
    I do not respond to private messages asking for Linux help, Please keep it on the forums only.
    All new users please read this.** Forum FAQS. ** Adopt an unanswered post.

    I'd rather be lost at the lake than found at home.

  5. #5
    Penguin of trust elija's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Either at home or at work or down the pub
    Posts
    3,569
    When you boot the live / install media there is usually an option to set the locale for the session on the initial menu screen. IIRC it is usually on the F2 key.
    What do we want?
    Time machines!

    When do we want 'em?
    Doesn't really matter does it!?


    The Fifth Continent

  6. #6
    Just Joined!
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    4
    Thanks for the suggestions. To clarify a few things related to them:

    1. I cannot install anything within XP, because the XP version on the computer is limited to the Chinese language only and will give all choices, directions, etc., in the Chinese language.
    2. This is a computer for personal travel use--for blogging, e-mailing, creating money exchange charts, reading newspapers, etc., as I wander around the world on personal travels up to 4-5 months at a time. When I am home, I have a desktop I use. I mainly want to keep it because it has a keyboard vs. a tablet which doesn't, because it has a large amount of memory which will let me backup and save my photos and other files, because I often use it off-line due to remote areas and then upload when I have good wifi, because I like its size and weight for traveling, because it still works except for the frustration of being limited to the Chinese language version of Windows.
    3. The attempt at a Linux installation before probably didn't work because I was trying to do it with a download through XP. I probably made the wrong "guess" as to which buttons were the appropriate ones as I was asked questions in Chinese. It's very difficult to try to analyse and guess what is being asked and which will be the right button to progress toward the goal of an installation.
    4. As long as the installation of the Linux will be in English, I don't care what language the bios is in. I just need need all the steps in the installation to be in English so I can make the right decisions as I go through the process. (But I hope the bios being in Chinese wouldn't mean that processes for starting the installation or within Linux once it is installed would be in Chinese. I know that the XP would have used English if the multi-language pack had been included inside it, so I am hoping [based on what one of you wrote about choosing the language as a part of the installation] that the Linux program will either be in English or have a multi-language pack that will allow me to choose English.)
    5. The keyboard does not have Chinese characters on it. It is a standard (small, because it is a netbook) English language qwerty board. (I have used this computer while traveling for 4 years, so the only problem is when something pops up in Chinese!)
    6. I am not in China now. I am in Texas. So my only Chinese problem is the language within the version of XP (and potentially a problem of the bios being in Chinese).
    7. The suggestion of burning the iso file to a CD or thumbnail drive and then installing it to the netbook using an external optical drive (no netbooks have optical drives built into them) or the thumbnail connected via USB cord is what I had read that I thought might work. It was the only way I found that might bypass a download within XP.

    I can see from your responses that it would have helped if you could have better understood what the computer itself actually is. I didn't try attach the Samsung webpage for the model, because I was afraid it might be considered SPAM and I know that most forums do not allow web addresses by newbies. (I just read that I have to have 15 posts here before I can attach a web address.) It is the same Samsung netbook that was also sold in the US and Europe. You can find its specs at the Samsung website under Model #NP-N148.

  7. #7
    Penguin of trust elija's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Either at home or at work or down the pub
    Posts
    3,569
    If you mean this beastie then it should handle most distros and environments just fine. Personally I would want to use a lighter environment on it so KDE, Unity and Gnome would be out (even if I liked Gnome )
    What do we want?
    Time machines!

    When do we want 'em?
    Doesn't really matter does it!?


    The Fifth Continent

  8. #8
    Linux Guru
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Tucson AZ
    Posts
    3,190
    I cannot install anything within XP
    You would download the iso within xp and if you know how to use that computer to burn a CD or if you can use another computer to do it, there should be no problem. You will have an option to select the language. I've never found a Linux distribution that did not have that option. The installation will then be done using English. You would need to create a separate partition for Linux and possibly shrink the xp partition which likely takes up the entire drive. These options should be available to you during the install. If you haven't installed Linux before, there are numerous tutorials on creating partitions and installing for most of the major distributions. If you have problems, just post back.

  9. #9
    Just Joined!
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    4
    Yes, the link ("this beastie" two posts above) was to the correct computer I use when traveling. It's about the size and weight of today's Chromebooks except that it does have onboard memory rather than using "the cloud," so it is easy to tote day-after-day for months at a time when taking "chicken buses," trains, etc., in remote countries and was inexpensive enough not to have to obsessively worry about it being stolen.

    Thanks for all the suggestions. I haven't tried this yet. My next trip will begin in January, so I will wait for a stretch of 2-3 days of bad weather before then when I will want to stay inside. This will be a great experiment. Even if I eventually mess it up, I've gotten my money's worth from the computer over 4 years. If it works, it will be such a relief. Because of the Chinese language, I can't understand the warnings and other messages I get, so it has become sluggish when opening and very frustrating to try to use.

  10. #10
    Linux Guru rokytnji's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Desert
    Posts
    4,115
    Yes, the link ("this beastie" two posts above) was to the correct computer
    It has better specs than mine and I run on this unit, a 9 incher.

    Code:
    ~$ inxi -Fxz
    System:    Host: biker Kernel: 3.10-2-486 i686 (32 bit, gcc: 4.7.3) 
               Desktop: Xfce 4.10.2 (Gtk 2.24.18) Distro: SolydXK 1 solydxk
    Machine:   System: manda product: Intel powered classmate PC version: Gen 1.5L
               Mobo: N/A model: N/A Bios: American Megatrends version: CM94515A.86A.0024.2008.0715.1716 date: 07/15/2008
    CPU:       Single core Intel Atom CPU N270 (-UP-) cache: 512 KB flags: (nx pae sse sse2 sse3 ssse3) bmips: 3192.07 clocked at 1600.00 MHz 
    Graphics:  Card: Intel Mobile 945GSE Express Integrated Graphics Controller bus-ID: 00:02.0 
               X.Org: 1.12.4 drivers: intel (unloaded: fbdev,vesa) Resolution: 1024x600@53.3hz 
               GLX Renderer: Mesa DRI Intel 945GME x86/MMX/SSE2 GLX Version: 1.4 Mesa 9.1.6 Direct Rendering: Yes
    Audio:     Card: Intel NM10/ICH7 Family High Definition Audio Controller driver: snd_hda_intel bus-ID: 00:1b.0 
               Sound: Advanced Linux Sound Architecture ver: k3.10-2-486
    Network:   Card: Realtek RTL8101E/RTL8102E PCI Express Fast Ethernet controller 
               driver: r8169 ver: 2.3LK-NAPI port: ec00 bus-ID: 01:00.0
               IF: eth0 state: down mac: <filter>
    Drives:    HDD Total Size: 30.0GB (43.8% used) 1: id: /dev/sda model: SAMSUNG_HS030GB size: 30.0GB 
    Partition: ID: / size: 6.8G used: 4.1G (63%) fs: ext3 ID: /home size: 20G used: 8.3G (45%) fs: ext3 
               ID: swap-1 size: 1.58GB used: 0.00GB (0%) fs: swap 
    Sensors:   System Temperatures: cpu: 61.0C mobo: N/A 
               Fan Speeds (in rpm): cpu: N/A 
    Info:      Processes: 137 Uptime: 24 min Memory: 334.5/2017.7MB Runlevel: 2 Gcc sys: 4.7.3 
               Client: Shell (bash 4.2.45) inxi: 1.9.12
    Ram I upgraded myself. It should not matter if made in China or USA if keyboard has the English alphabet.

    Since yours has
    Intel® ATOM™ Processor N455 1.66GHz
    There are no hoops to jump through installing linux like you would have on a Google arm Chromebook.
    It should be no problemo for you doing any install.
    Linux Registered User # 475019
    Lead,Follow, or get the heck out of the way. I Have a Masters in Raising Hell
    Tech Books
    Free Linux Books
    Newbie Guide
    Courses at Home

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •