Setting up Jolicloud on the Vaio P

EDIT 2011-03-11: Since this is one of my most popular articles I thought I should update it a bit. Jolicloud is now on version 1.2 and most sections in this tutorial can be skipped (everything in the basic section at least). I'm not going to re-write it at the moment, since I have lots to study, but I will add a tips I found on Ubuntu Forums on how to get scroll to work! Pretty exciting right? I will guide you in the right direction: here is the script and here is how to install it. It has to be run at each boot. I added the script to my startup applications (Dashboard -- Local Settings -- Other Settings -- Startup Applications). Cheers!

This guide is divided into two sections (basic and advanced). The first section (basic) covers the basic fixes to make your Jolicloud installation run. The second section (advanced) covers some useful tips and tricks. Everything writen behind code should be entered in the terminal. Before we start, remember to do a backup! Also remember that this is not my work, but simply a compilation of tips and tricks regarding Jolicloud on Vaio P!


  • Start by visiting http://www.jolicloud.com/ and download either the Windows installer or the ISO-image.
  • If you are using the installer, start it and follow the instructions on the screen. If you use the ISO burn the ISO on a CD, use an external CD-drive and reboot your computer. In the CD-menu, choose option 1 in the list (Try Jolicloud without making any changes to your system). Click on Install Jolicloud to start installation. Follow the instructions on the screen, and make sure you don't choose to use the entire disk in the partition manager (unless you want to use Jolicloud as the only OS on your computer, but that's not recommended).
  • When you start Jolicloud for the first time you will be greeted by a "Low Resolution" screen since Jolicloud cannot use the graphics just yet. But as noted by AdamW all you have to do is change the kernel parameter for the memory. Open a terminal window and write the following:

code: sudo gedit /boot/grub/menu.lst
  • and write your password (the cursor won't change when you do this, this is normal).
  • In the window that just opened locate:
  • At the end of the kernel line, add mem=1800mb nosmp
The above specifies the memory amount as 1800 megabyte. This has to be done so the graphics adaptor has some memory too. nosmp makes the kernel boot in uniprocessor mode (if you don't add this, Jolicloud freezes unexpectedly).

  • Restart the system and everything should work like a dream (as long as that dream doesn't include high-def media or loads of youtube-streaming).
  • If you find the text too small, change the DPI under System -- Preferences -- Appearance and click the Fonts tab and click Details in the lower right. Change the number to something that lets you read easily on the screen. Press the windows-key to access the menu.

In order to use compiz you have to disable the netbook launcher (sincer there is a conflict), which is the application that shows all your applications on startup. It's a bit of a dilemma, but you can use Jolicloud without the netbook launcher if you want to. Note that you will have to add a desktop background, launchers for different apps (if you want to) and a menu (replacing the Go Home button in the upper left corner) which I will not cover this in this tutorial (search Google for add launcher ubuntu and add to panel ubuntu).
  • To disable the netbook launcher go to System -- Preferences -- Startup Applications and untick Netbook Launcher.

Install Compiz
  • Open a terminal window and write:
code: sudo apt-get install compiz
  • If you need to, enter your password.
  • Now write the following:
code: sudo apt-get install compizconfig-settings-manager

  • Go to System -- Preferences -- Appearance and click the Visual Effects tab.
  • Click Normal and apply the effects.
  • Go to System -- Preferences -- CompizConfig Settings Manager and play around with the settings. I recommend using the zoom function, but remember to change the key-bindings (I use Alt+Button1 for zoom in, Alt+Button2 for zoom box and Alt+Button3 for zoom out, which utilizes the Vaio P's all mousebuttons to zoom in and out). Most other settings are too heavy for the small Vaio, but the zoom is a great feature for those non-dpi-sensitive apps.

Install cpudyn
I was going to add a section on this. But now it's getting late and I should study some more. So why should you use cpudyn? The inbuilt cpu-scaling works good, but when you run on batterypower you might want to specify the maximum frequency the cpu should be allowed to use. This can easily be done with cpudyn if you enter:

code: echo xxxxxxx > /sys/devices/system/cpu/cpu0/cpufreq/scaling_max_freq

Where xxxxxxx is the frequency of the processor in Hz. That means that 1400000 is 1.4 GHz, for exampel. Remember that you have to have root privileges (write sudo bash followed by your password to login as root).

Now I wish you good luck with your linux system on the amazing Vaio P! But don't uninstall Windows if you want to watch that HD-movie or use all the features of the computer! And also goodnight :D!


Anonymous said...

thx man!

Ruub said...

No problems! :D