Ubuntu 7.10 (Gutsy Gibbon) works great on Gateway 200ARC installed on external USB hard disk

22 Oct

New Ubuntu came out four days ago. It’s a reaaaaly great desktop, really! Not only does the new Ubuntu come with new stuff, enhanced wireless, etc it installed without a hitch on Gateway 200ARC diskless laptop. This Gateway model is notorious for faulty HDD cables. I ran Ubuntu on a USB stick on this same machine until the stick died due to overuse. But this time it seems everything just works.


I downloaded a “Ubuntu 7.10 Desktop i386” image and burnt a CD. Made sure that the disk was fine, by verifying the data on it. I put it in the drive and ran a Live CD which came with a desktop in what seemed like 5 minutes (seemed slow). I went straight to install and picked my Lacie 160GB USB drive. Clicked “OK” everywhere, including the last step, which was known to cause problems in previous versions. I poped the CD out, crossed my fingers and rebooted.

Never did the GRUB screen look so beautiful 🙂 When it rebooted I was told about some commercial drivers which supported my hardware. Yup, sure, whatever. I agreed by clicking my way through the whole installation.

What works out of the box?

– Keyboard and touchpad work.
– Graphics works even from the Live CD. The screen defaults to machine’s maximum of 1024×768 pixels.
– Ethernet works.
– Wireless works. I connect to a WPA-PSK network. Yaay!
– Modem works.
– External USB booting works from external Lacie drive.

Sorry, I can’t verify if sound drivers work. My sound card has been dead for years.

What doesn’t

Hibernate went to sleep fine, but it didn’t wake up. It froze during the boot. It may be due to external USB disk.


All in all, this is great news for all of you people with diskless Gateway 200 ARC laptops. No hassle, no hacking installation of Ubuntu 7.10 just works.

I haven’t tried the TV-OUT. Let me know if it does for you.

If you’re looking for a smaller distro to work with 200arc, try Slax.


Posted by on October 22, 2007 in Uncategorized


7 responses to “Ubuntu 7.10 (Gutsy Gibbon) works great on Gateway 200ARC installed on external USB hard disk

  1. tod

    November 6, 2007 at 2:35 pm

    Do you brightness keys (Fn + up/down arrow) work?

    see this thread…

  2. tod

    November 6, 2007 at 2:36 pm

    great blog by the way

  3. serbiancafe

    November 6, 2007 at 10:05 pm

    The brightness keys work fine. I haven’t experienced the garbled screen.

  4. jarav

    November 18, 2007 at 8:23 am

    Will i be able to correctly choose the external hard disk for the installation even if there is an internal hard disk in the laptop? I have a Dell Inspiron 6400 laptop and I will be soon getting a Lacie 160gb external hard disk and I want to install ubuntu on it.

  5. serbiancafe

    November 18, 2007 at 3:07 pm


    Yes, and you can verify it by doing the manual partitioning. You’ll see which drive matches your external by the gigs of disk space.

    To be on the safe side, I’d remove the hard disk, or disable it in BIOS settings prior to installation.

  6. serbiancafe

    November 18, 2007 at 3:37 pm

    This blog comes as #2 on google search for ubuntu 200arc 🙂

  7. jarav

    November 20, 2007 at 2:10 am

    Thank you. Removing the internal hard disk in my laptop is out of the question. Let me see whether i can disable it in the bios.


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