MacBuild Xubuntu QC Checklist

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This is a draft of a new or in-progress document, and is likely to have a few people specifically working on it. You may wish to check in on the discussion page to see what the purpose of the document is and who's working on it; then feel free to give this article love and attention if have extra of those things.

Practice MacBuild QC Checklist: Welcome to the MacBuild Workshop! Quality checking a systems that you or someone else has built is an extremely important step in ensuring our standards. This checklist will help you assess whether a system is ready to go to the Thrift Store with a working Xubuntu operating system. Work through every step as well as you can, and then ask a neighbor or your instructor if you still have questions. Use your resources! There are lots available to you - your neighbor, the instructors and, of course, the internet. Searching the web for answers to the challenge you are facing is one of the best ways to learn. You can also access tips and troubleshooting ideas on our wiki ( under MacBuild.


Check what needs to be quality checked

  • After finishing the OSX build checklist, or veryifying that the label on the computer has had the triage checked off, it's ready to be QC-ed.

Do you hear a rattling noise, caused by a screw or other loose component, upon moving the system?

  • If so, find the culprit and secure/remove it.

Is the case properly put together and secure?

  • If not, fix it!

Are all slots and bays covered?

  • If not, cover 'em! Check to make sure they're screwed in tightly by pushing on each one with your finger - if a slot cover falls out it can short out the motherboard.

Do you see more than one video, sound, or network ports?

  • Later, when you're testing audio, headphone jacks and standard sound ports should be tested.
  • Orange/Black/Gray sound ports are surround sound and do not need to be tested.
  • Any damaged ports will need to be covered with electrical tape or port covers. If you see two identical uncovered ports, one integrated and one on a card, ask your instructor how to proceed.

Are there Asset tags (identifying the last owner)? Or branded hardware tags on the faceplate (identifying original components such as RAM, HDD, Optical Drive etc)?

  • If there is, take them off. DO NOT remove FG-PDX, "uncovered electronic device" or Processor/graphics tags.

Is the system exterior clean?

  • If not, use cleaner and rag to clean. The vacuum cleaner will help remove dust clogged in case fans. Hand sanitizer, Goo Gone and/or isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol can help loosen any stickers; ask your instructor where to find scraping tools to remove them.

Open up the system and check inside for:

  1. Blown capacitors (If found, the system must be rejected!)
  2. What type of DDR RAM your system has installed - write this down
  3. The RAM speed (will be the second number on the sticker) - write this down
  4. Any dust accumulation - please vacuum or brush it out!


Boot up

  • Plug in both a power cable and an ethernet cord and connect a monitor, keyboard and mouse to the computer before turning it on. It should already have a hard drive with a Xubuntu image, so it should automatically boot into an Operating System without further instructions. Be patient, it might take a while.

Login to the system

  • username will be Default User
    password = freegeek

Update the software

  • Click on Menu >> System >> Update Manager. When the Update Manager pops up, click "Check" to find updates, then if any updates appear, click "Install All." It may take some time to download and install packages, so feel free to continue on with other steps while this runs in the background.

Activate hardware drivers

  • Click on Menu >> Settings >> Additional Drivers
  • Click on "Activate" button on bottom of window.
  • If your computer goes to a black screen with white text and freezes (Most often with early Intel iMacs), go to Wireless Troubleshooting Guide and scroll down to "Broadcom Wireless" and follow the directions to install special drivers

Find the terminal icon on the launcher panel at the bottom of the screen

  • Navigate to the bottom of the screen with your mouse. A launcher panel will appear, with the terminal icon >_, click it to open a terminal window.

Stress test the system for a few minutes

  • navigate to your terminal and run "stress-test". Wait a few minutes while it runs, and look for error messages. If you want to know more about what it's doing, open up another terminal and run "man stress". This may take some time; feel free to continue on to the next step while you wait.

Run "basiccheck"

  • Click on the terminal icon to open it. Type "basiccheck", then press enter to begin the program. There are basiccheck checklists hanging on the supply shelves which will help with verifying whether each test passes or not. Feel free to ask your peers and the instructor what parts of basiccheck mean so that you understand what each test is checking. When you're finished, close the terminal.

Test USB

  • Plug in a USB mouse, see that the cursor moves and can interact with things.
  • Repeat with all USB ports, including ports on the front of the system, if any.

Check date and time

  • Displayed in the right corner of your top panel. If incorrect:
  1. Make sure network cable is plugged in.
  2. Navigate to Menu>>>Settings>>>Settings Manager
  3. Open the Calender, set Time Zone to America/Los Angeles

Play an audio CD

  • Do you hear what you expect? Is it loud enough to be heard easily? Repeat for each optical drive. Also repeat for any additional sound ports. If any sound ports (typically colored green, sometimes blue) don't play audio, cover them up with port covers or electrical tape. If you have functional onboard sound, and a sound card, the card will need to be removed and replaced with a slot cover.
  • If you have surround sound ports (usually orange and gray) ignore them; we do not have the means to test this function.

Read data CD

  • If your file browser (listed under Places in the top panel) sees files on the drive, it can read data files. Repeat for each optical drive.

If you have a DVD Drive, Read DVD

  • If your file browser sees the file, the DVD-ROM can read files. If you are prompted to search for a suitable plugin or codec, please do not do this! The test still passes. Repeat for each DVD-ROM drive.

If you have an Optical Drive with CD-RW function, Test CD Writing

  • Insert a CD-RW disc into the drive and open XFburn (under Menu >> Multimedia >> XFBurn.) Select New Data Composition, then navigate to File System >>> USR >>> Share >>> Sounds and click Add. A new window will pop-up with a few options. If available, select Use burnfree and Burn the image directly without saving it to disc and click Burn. When the disc is done, verify that it contains the file by re-inserting the disc and seeing what pops up on the desktop.
  • Blank the disc using XFBurn by selecting Black CD-RW from the icons. If available, uncheck the "Fast Blank" option. If blanking does not work, the drive may still be completely functional! Ask your instructor about software bug workarounds.

If you have an Optical Drive with DVD-RW function, Test DVD Writing

  • Insert a DVD-RW disc into the drive and in the XFBurn file browser follow the same steps as above to burn a data project. When the disc is done, verify that it contains the file by re-inserting the disc and seeing what pops up on the desktop.
  • Blank the disc using XFBurn by selecting Blank DVD-FW from the icons. If available, uncheck "Fast Blank." Again, blanking errors may not indicate a bad drive. Ask your instructor for more information.

Remove all CDs and DVDs from the drive(s)

If the computer you're working on has an iSight Camera installed (Intel iMacs, MacBooks, MacBook Pros, & MacBook Airs)

  • Install the program "Cheese"
    • In the terminal: Open a terminal window and, when prompted, type "sudo apt-get install cheese" and press enter. You will be asked if you want to add a program, type "Y" and press enter again. The program will install and when it's done you should restart the computer
    • Through the GUI: Navigate through Menu >> Ubuntu Software Center. Enter "cheese" into the search bar and press enter. Highlight the Cheese icon and click "Install". You will be prompted for a password; type "freegeek" and press enter. The program will install and when it has finished, you will be prompted to restart.
  • When the computer has restarted, go to Meniu >> Multimedia >> Cheese. If the iSight Camera works, you should see yourself in the window that opens up. If not, the camera may not be properly installed or you may need to do some research to find extra drivers.

Reboot the system

  • Open a terminal and type sudo reboot. Wait while it reboots, and ensure that the system powers on and offers a login screen without user intervention (e.g. requiring you to "press F1 to boot.")
  • If it doesn't boot smoothly, try "blessing" the disk. To do this, you need to boot into an OSX session by either connecting a network cable or an external HDD. With either of these options, once you are in the Apple operating system, open a terminal window and type sudo bless --device /dev/disk0s1 --setBoot --legacy, press enter. You will be prompted for a password, enter "freegeek" (it won't show up, but it worked, I promise), and wait a moment. It won't look like anything has happened, but it actually reduces the boot-time to get into the Xubuntu OS. Restart the computer and see what I mean.

Run "printme" from terminal

  • From a Xubuntu terminal, type "printme," this will generate a questionnaire in Command Line.
  • Refer to your written notes for the RAM type and speed, the BIOS key and Boot Menu key, if applicable.
  • When it asks what is notable about this system, enter:
Intel w/ Ubuntu installed
Processor type and speed
Memory size and speed
Wireless card info
Battery test results for laptops

Press enter to create a web document.

Copy system ID (IMPORTANT!)

  • Copy the system ID from the printme onto a blank sticker and put it on back of computer, ideally in a location that isn't covering any fans, other ventilation, or removable case parts such as slot covers.

Add Free Geek Sticker

  • Affix on the front of the system, in a sensible location! (Usually adjacent to or above/below the Processor tag)

Check in with Build Instructor

  • The Build Instructor will check the printme and edit it to sign it off.
  • Your instructor may ask you to replace certain components, which will require re-running the "printme" form. Some changes may also need to be made in the web browser. If your instructor gives the "thumbs-up," proceed to the next step.

Save Printme to the Desktop

  • After your Build Instructor has inspected the system, click "Print" in the browser that opens. Choose "Print to file." Save the file to the Desktop and name it "QC Printme", then click "Print" to save. Click on the QC Printme icon on the Desktop to open it up.

Enable network printers:

  • Go to Menu >> System >> Printing
  • Select Server >> Settings and check the box marked Show Printers Shared by Other Systems and click OK.
  • Wait for a few moments and click the refresh icon. A selection of printers should appear.

Print a hard copy of Printme

  • Close the "Printing - localhost" window that opens and select the "build" printer from the Print menu once it appears. Click Print and retrieve the sheet from the printer in the back (SW) corner of the room.
  • Have your Build Instructor sign off on the printed sheet. Then fold it in half (lengthwise) and tape it to the top of the system (the side of the page with the instructor's initials facing up.)

Shut down and shelve the system

  • Open a terminal and type "sudo halt -p" then press enter. When the system has shut down, unplug all cables, double-check that the case is secured properly, and ask a build instructor where to put the system once shutdown is complete.

Clean up work area if it is your last QC of the day

  • Please put all tools away, throw out any garbage or sticker remains, put screws in the appropriate bins, wrap cords around your keyboard and mouse, turn off your speakers and monitor, and generally straighten up.