2008 Infiniti M35 Carputer Project: Ubuntu Linux Install and Configuration

I received all the parts for my carputer, and began installing and configuring my operating system of choice — Ubuntu Linux.  Since I didn't have a cd/dvd drive attached to the carputer, I installed Ubuntu from a USB stick.  In the process, I discovered a new tool for creating USB installation media, called UNetbootin (Universal Netboot Installer).  It can be run from Windows or Linux, and has built-in support for creating USB installation media for Ubuntu, Debian, Fedora, CentOS, openSUSE, Arch Linux, FreeBSD, NetBSD, and more.  It can handle downloading the operating system's image file (.iso), or utilize one you have previously downloaded.  Since I had already downloaded a mini cd image of Ubuntu, I opted to have UNetbootin use that.

After UNetbootin finished setting up the USB stick, I used it to install Ubuntu on the carputer's hard drive.  From there, I installed openssh-server, gpsd, and wireless-tools:

apt-get install openssh-server gpsd wireless-tools

Then I set up my wireless connection with my Belkin Wireless G USB adapter as follows:

ifconfig wlan0 up
iwlist wlan0 scanning (returns your wireless network essid)
iwconfig wlan0 essid [your essid]
iwconfig wlan0 key [hex WEP key]
dhclient wlan0

Then I installed Ubuntu Mobile and the Hildon desktop, and configured a few Hildon settings:

apt-get install ubuntu-mobile xserver-xephyr hildon-desktop

I created the file /usr/share/xsessions/hildon.desktop containing:

[Desktop Entry]
Encoding=UTF-8
Name=Hildon
Exec=/usr/local/bin/start-hildon-session
Type=Application

I copied the hildon startup script:

cp `which start-hildon` /usr/local/bin/start-hildon-session

And finally, I edited /usr/local/bin/start-hildon-session and commented out "export DISPLAY=:1".

Although I made a fair amount of progress today, I still have a lot of work left:

1) Configure Ubuntu Mobile/Hildon
2) Setup touchscreen overlay film and test interface
3) Configure sound drivers and media codecs
4) Test iGuidance under wine and compare to the current state of native Linux GPS software
5) Get Creative webcam working as a rearview/backup camera
6) Setup rsync to copy newly added media when the carputer is parked in the garage and can access my fileserver over my wireless network
7) Configure bluetooth tethering/internet access through my Sprint HTC Mogul

And of course, I have to install everything into the car when the configuration is completed.

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