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Which Distro For an Eee PC? 466

Posted by timothy
from the pick-your-poison dept.
An anonymous reader writes "I've got an Eee PC 1000HD, and frankly, I can't stand XP. I know it's odd, because I actually like Vista, but XP is such a giant piece of crap on here that I struggle to use it day-by-day. Anyway, my question is this: which Linux distro should I run on it? Plain Ubuntu just doesn't have driver support. I tried Ubuntu-eee, which, to put it bluntly, does not work for me at all (slow, terrible battery life, even worse interface). I've heard that Jaunty Jackalope is going to have better netbook support, but that's all the way in April! Is there a distro out now that will free me from XP's terribleness without being terrible itself?" Getting wireless working on an Eee PC (though in my experience imperfectly) with stock Ubuntu is possible; for me it took some googling, though I've been told with great enthusiasm that it actually works "out of the box." What distros are you running on your netbook, and what problems do you find?
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Which Distro For an Eee PC?

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  • XandrOS or EeeOS? (Score:5, Informative)

    by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohnNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Tuesday February 24, 2009 @12:22PM (#26970659) Journal
    Disclaimer, I do not own an eeePC (keyboard too damn small) so I have not tried any of these things. Two things I found while searching around is the Linux OS that is shipped with the eeePC Linux versions and that is XandrOS, a debian based Linux [xandros.com]. You need to torrent it I think to avoid some $10 bandwidth fee [desktoplinux.com]. So search on your favorite torrent site.

    Also there is EeeOS [eeeuser.com] which claims to be:

    EeeOS is designed to be a minimalistic Custom Debian Distribution that provides a base system (drivers, system tools, Xorg) and nothing more. The idea behind such a release is so that users of Eee Linux OS can configure and build their own Eee experience ... an EeeXperience if you will :P While systems like Ubuntu, Fedora, Suse and Xandros are all amazing in their own right, they often come pre-configured and with a lot of bloat. Some power users prefer to have complete control over their systems and it is with these users in mind that Eee OS was created.

    I was going to go on a lengthy explanation about how you could use Slackware [wikipedia.org] or Gentoo [wikipedia.org] to provide the optimal configuration you are interested in but after reading your summary, I doubt you're interested in this sort of devotion to squeezing your eeePC like a lemon over your enemy's eye.

    ... though I've been told with great enthusiasm that it actually works "out of the box."

    Ubuntu has worked "out of the box" for two of my DLink WiFi cards. It worked on a no name CompUSA brand rebate PCMCIA card on my laptop but there were ... annoyances ... with lack of encryption options.

    Also, why did you go with an Eee Ubuntu and not Xubuntu [xubuntu.org] ... which I guess would be more widely supported?

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by evilkasper (1292798)
      I have a eee701 I've found this to be a handy resource http://forum.eeeuser.com/index.php [eeeuser.com] Mostly I run Xandros on mine, just for convenience. I do however have several distros on thumb drives in case I feel like a change. Just curious because I'm used to people complaining about Vista and how they like XP, what about XP do you not like? Again just curious.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by King_TJ (85913)

        I have an eee701 myself, and I played with several Linux OS's on it, but kept coming back to Xandros as well.

        There's apparently a guy who has an ongoing project to take the original Asus distribution of Xandros for eeePC and tweak, update and improve it.

        Links to his latest builds can be found over at http://www.xepc.org/en [xepc.org]. (Unfortunately for me, the site is basically a blog written in Chinese, that gets run through a translator when you ask for the English version with the /en on the end of the URL. So i

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Stormwatch (703920)

      Xandros and Novell signed those sick "covenant not to sue" deals with Microsoft.

      So I'll sign a covenant not to touch their crap with a barge pole.

    • Re:XandrOS or EeeOS? (Score:4, Informative)

      by Joce640k (829181) on Tuesday February 24, 2009 @12:57PM (#26971283) Homepage

      Just so you know ... EeePC 1000 keyboards are only 10% smaller than normal size.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by jon3k (691256)
        Actually it's like 7-8% smaller, they're 92% or 93% sized keyboards. Also the 901HA (or one of the 900 series) has the larger keyboard as well.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Tetsujin (103070)

          The 904 is the same size as the 1000 series, but with a 9" screen. Probably that's the one you're thinking of.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by kimvette (919543)

        They're just small enough to throw off touch typing.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Zordak (123132)
          Typing this on a 904HA, which I've had for three or four weeks. The only thing that really throws off my typing is the right shift key. I don't know who made that design choice, but it was stupid. If not for that, it would be pretty much perfect. I paid $350 for the thing, including shipping, and it's perfect for using on the bus or plane when a regular laptop is just too cumbersome.

          I wiped the second partition and added FC 10, which worked out of the box, including wireless.

    • ArchLinux? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by lwsimon (724555)

      I'm planning on using ArchLinux when I get mine. They seem to have good community support, and it doesn't come with any fluff you don't need.

      It is a bit more difficult to install, though.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by killeena (794394)
        I installed Arch on my 701, and I have been really happy with it so far. I only have what I need installed on it, and the thing boots in like 20 seconds. There is actually a good article in the works on the Arch wiki on how to set it up on the eee. There are custom kernels that are ready to go and everything. If you know your way around linux good enough, I would recommend giving it a try.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by polemistes (739905)

        If you want an optimized system, Arch Linux is not more difficult than any other distro. You just don't have the choice to install a complete desktop system with lots and lots of things you don't want, configured in ways you don't like, so that you can uninstall almost everything and then install what you want, from obscure package repos, so you get library confusions etc, for then to reconfigure almost everything, so it works the way you like it to.

        The Arch Linux installer lets you:

        1. Install a very basic

    • And Xandros works just fine for me. There are a few quirks to getting KDE installed, but as for the rest of the packages, you can't beat apt-get.

      The advantage of the Xandros distro is that it already supports the EEE hardware, and whatever else you find lacking can be made up with apt-get. Of course, it didn't ship with KDE, gcc, gThumb, etc..., but finding and installing the software was fairly trivial.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Brian Gordon (987471)
      If he wants Jaunty so much why doesn't he just use it? It's not officially released yet but obviously it exists. There are daily builds [ubuntu.com] available for download.
  • Ubuntu (Score:3, Funny)

    by DesertBlade (741219) on Tuesday February 24, 2009 @12:24PM (#26970695)
    Ubuntu makes a nice EEE distro.

    But since you like Vista there may be nothing we can do.
    • Re:Ubuntu (Score:5, Interesting)

      by metallicagoaltender (187235) on Tuesday February 24, 2009 @12:30PM (#26970795) Homepage

      +1 on Ubuntu. I picked up an Eee 1000H this past weekend and installing Easy Peasy (the poorly named Ubuntu Eee distro) via flash drive was ridiculously easy. Everything worked right off the bat without any messing around with config files. The "Netbook Remix" interface is sort of annoying, but very easy to turn off.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by onecheapgeek (964280)

      Anyway, my question is this: which Linux distro should I run on it? Plain Ubuntu just doesn't have driver support. I tried Ubuntu-eee, which, to put it bluntly, does not work for me at all (slow, terrible battery life, even worse interface). I've heard that Jaunty Jackalope is going to have better netbook support, but that's all the way in April! Is there a distro out now that will free me from XP's terribleness without being terrible itself?

      Brilliant advice. Really, you are a model of reading comprehension.

    • I have the Asus 1000 (solid state drive) and use Easy Peasy (I think www.geteasypeasy.com). It works well with suspend/lid closing/wifi. I don't know if this is typical, but it even worked correctly with my Verizon Wireless EVDO aircard, so I'm happy.

    • Ubuntu makes a nice EEE distro.

      I understand it works out of the box for the original Eee, but for the 901 - and presumably the closely related 1000 - neither wired nor wireless networking work. You'll need to install a custom kernel [array.org] to get those going. Otherwise, everything's fine here.

  • eeebuntu (Score:5, Informative)

    by IMarvinTPA (104941) <IMarvinTPA@IMarvinTP A . c om> on Tuesday February 24, 2009 @12:25PM (#26970705) Homepage Journal

    You may wish to try http://www.eeebuntu.org/ [eeebuntu.org] which is NOT the same as Ubuntu-eee.

    It has worked decently on my 1000HD.

    IMarv

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by oodaloop (1229816)
      Seconded. I'm using it right now on my EEE 900HA. I'm using the Netbook remix, which I really like so far. It's the standard Ubuntu load, plus a netbook interface over the desktop. Looks cool too.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by lt. slock (1123781)

      I'll second that. I've been using eeebuntu base on my 901 happily enough, battery life seems to be about 5 hours.

    • Re:eeebuntu (Score:5, Informative)

      by theaceoffire (1053556) on Tuesday February 24, 2009 @01:06PM (#26971459) Homepage
      Like the others, I too support this version.

      Not only does it work well, but it remembers your Wifi settings and doesn't pester you, so that when you walk close enough to one setting you set up before it will auto connect...

      When I go from home to work, It swaps networks automatically.
    • by stevied (169) *

      I'm currently trying to shoe-horn it onto my 2Gb Surf.. not entirely straightforward, as the only version that fits is Base, and that doesn't include any apps, but I can understand why the 2Gb versions might be a bit of a nuisance to support out of the box. It certainly looks like the best starting platform out of the many alternatives I've looked at.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by pmbasehore (1198857)
      I use eeebuntu as well on my EEE 1000. I'm normally not a big *buntu fan, but this has exceeded all of my expectations. It took a little bit of fiddling to get my hotkeys to work, but that would be true of any laptop on any distro.

      Works a darnsight better than that crap Xandros bastardization they OEM'ed it with!
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by jaaron (551839)
      Another +1 for eeebuntu here. Has worked great.
    • Re:eeebuntu (Score:5, Funny)

      by Tetsujin (103070) on Tuesday February 24, 2009 @02:10PM (#26972667) Homepage Journal

      You may wish to try http://www.eeebuntu.org/ [eeebuntu.org] which is NOT the same as Ubuntu-eee.

      It has worked decently on my 1000HD.

      IMarv

      Ah... Not to be confused with The People's Front of Judea!

  • Xubuntu (Score:3, Informative)

    by jfbilodeau (931293) on Tuesday February 24, 2009 @12:27PM (#26970749) Homepage

    For what it's worth, I've been running Xubuntu on my Eee ever since I got it. 100% happy with it, and used it to develop a little control panel for my Eee PC using Anjuta.

    http://chronogears.com/2008/04/control-panel-for-eee-pc.html [chronogears.com]

    J-F

    • Re:Xubuntu (Score:5, Informative)

      by Fungii (153063) on Tuesday February 24, 2009 @12:54PM (#26971235)

      I'm the same, I've got Xubuntu and compiz running and it's perfect, get some minimal window decorations and you're sorted.

      Just do a standard installation, then head over to http://www.array.org/ [array.org] and follow the instructions to install the kernel which will get your wireless and hotkeys working.

      http://www.eeeuser.com/ [eeeuser.com] is an excellent forum if you have any more questions. There are a few threads there that have step by step guides to installing and configuring Xubuntu, but there really isn't much to it beyond getting a custom kernel.

  • Easy Peasy (Score:4, Informative)

    by EverStoned (620906) on Tuesday February 24, 2009 @12:28PM (#26970757) Homepage
    It really is [geteasypeasy.com].
    • by ericrost (1049312)

      I do have to say, that website looks like ass. I probably wouldn't download something that was linked off of something that looked that thrown together and loads that damned slowly. I use Ubuntu Netbook Remix and like it on my Dell Mini 9.. I don't know what Easy Peasy looks like, contains, etc, and now their server has fallen over....

    • I tried Easy Peasy's predecessor, Ubuntu-eee, and while it mostly worked, I wanted 3 more things.

      Wireless. I could not get wireless to work. It would see the wireless networks, but would not connect.

      Video + audio capture. The video camera capture software, Cheese, was difficult. It would capture some video, and then show the user nothing, no hint on how to save it. Have to exit Cheese and rerun it, then you will see the captured video clip. There doesn't seem to be any way to simultaneously captur

    • by seebs (15766)

      It ain't perfect, and it took a couple of tweaks to get it running the way I wanted it, but...

      I have to say it's pretty good. Just Works, repos have plenty of usable software. I can browse the web, read PDFs, and (with only a bit of manual compiling to get current versions) have a full local Ruby on Rails install.

      I am planning to stick with this for the forseeable future.

  • by Dishwasha (125561) on Tuesday February 24, 2009 @12:28PM (#26970765)

    If you're struggling to use Windows XP on a daily basis, perhaps you should try something like this laptop [amazon.com]. I'm certain you will find yourself struggling just as much and see just as much bloat with any kind of GNU/Linux distribution, so this can really cut down on the learning curve and usability issues.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      this laptop [amazon.com]

      Pfft, I've installed BSD on one of those. It was easier than the toaster, as this at least has a keyboard.

      I was stumped by the dead badger though, but it is rumoured to be possible.

      I hear once you get BSD running on a badger you really have earned your stripes.

  • Windows 7 (Score:5, Interesting)

    by heffrey (229704) on Tuesday February 24, 2009 @12:29PM (#26970777)

    If you like vista why not stick windows 7 on it?

    • by RonnyJ (651856)

      Not sure why this is modded offtopic.

      If you like Vista, Windows 7 is less resource hungry, and you can try out the beta and then the Release Candidate at least until July, the RC will probably extend that limit until later in the year.

    • Re:Windows 7 (Score:4, Informative)

      by wicka (985217) on Tuesday February 24, 2009 @01:35PM (#26972069)
      First off, I submitted this, my bad on forgetting to put in a name. The reason I can't use 7 is because the 1000HD graphics chipset doesn't support Aero, and using Vista/7 without Aero basically renders the OS useless (especially in the case of 7, where the vast majority of the new GUI features require Aero). I was trying to be concise in the submission so I didn't want to get off in a tangent about how pissed I am that Intel refuses to write WDDM drivers for the GMA 900.
  • What driver issues? (Score:3, Informative)

    by Andy Dodd (701) <atd7@corUUUnell.edu minus threevowels> on Tuesday February 24, 2009 @12:29PM (#26970785) Homepage

    What about the Eee 1000HA had hardware driver support issues?

    The Intel Atom restricts the platform enough that there's very little hardware variance between units. WiFi and card readers are about the only thing that varies. I know the Atheros WiFi chipset used in the Aspire One series has some issues with "out of the box" Ubuntu support, but if you connect once via wired Ethernet you can apt-get a package that includes drivers that work. See the ath5k entry in the release notes - http://www.ubuntu.com/getubuntu/releasenotes/810 [ubuntu.com]

    The only hardware issues I've had with my Acer Aspire One and vanilla Ubuntu were:
    1) The above wifi issue
    2) Kubuntu's initial Bluetooth issues, this was resolved in the latest round of KDE updates. (This was with a third-party BT dongle, and KDE Bluetooth support was entirely broken on all systems with recent kernels.)
    3) Um... I think that's it?

    • by n0dna (939092)

      It's been my experience that Atheros chipsets have "some issues" (like they don't ever work) "out of the box" on the *.10 releases of Ubuntu. I thought I read somewhere that the *.10 are *secretly experimental* releases. That's certainly been my experience. Maybe he should try 8.04.

  • I run eeebuntu on an Eee PC 900. Most of it is ok, though I had to do a bunch of command-line and config-file magic to make wifi and the touchpad work.

    Wifi is now stable, but the touchpad forgets its settings every time I log out, so I have to reset it all the time. Rather annoying.
  • eeebuntu (Score:2, Interesting)

    by iTowelie (1118013)
    So far I have tried the following operating systems in this order:

    vLited Vista Home
    Ubuntu eee
    eeebuntu Standard
    nLited XP
    eeebuntu NetBookRemix.

    Just last night I switched back from XP to eeebuntu 2.0 NBR. Why? Well, it just works beautifully OOTB with my 701SD and the GUI works well with the 7" screen. All I had to do was edit my fstab to automatically mount my Airdisk and media shares on my Vista box and that was that. I use it to browse the web, edit/view spreadsheets and to remote into some of my home c
  • Wait (Score:5, Funny)

    by TheSpoom (715771) * <slashdot@Nospam.uberm00.net> on Tuesday February 24, 2009 @12:33PM (#26970841) Homepage Journal

    You like Vista, but dislike XP?

    What's it like in your parallel universe? Can I visit?

    • You like Vista, but dislike XP?

      If I was the target audience for Vista I'd stay anonymous, too.
    • Re:Wait (Score:4, Informative)

      by MrZaius (321037) on Tuesday February 24, 2009 @12:50PM (#26971169) Homepage

      It's like the event logs suddenly became human readable, the shell started to suck less, and a KDE-like start menu started letting me just type in what I want without navigating the typical Windows Start Menu hell. It's harder than you might think to go back to XP after a substantial period of time on an optimized Vista install.

      Not that there's any way at all that I'll defend its astoundingly slow file transfers and deletion speeds, after a service-pack and years of patches. Still, it works well enough in-game and does have some strong points from an administrator's perspective, given modern hardware and well-written drivers. (Albeit not well enough to get me to use it more than 20% of the time.)

    • Re:Wait (Score:5, Insightful)

      by greg_barton (5551) * <greg_barton@ya[ ].com ['hoo' in gap]> on Tuesday February 24, 2009 @01:23PM (#26971805) Homepage Journal

      What's it like in your parallel universe?

      In his universe Spock has no beard.

      How fucked up is that?

      • Re:Wait (Score:5, Funny)

        by LordEd (840443) on Tuesday February 24, 2009 @03:09PM (#26973519)

        In his universe, objects in Soviet Russia don't actually do anything to you.

        Old people and young people use things in North Korea.

        Scientists have solved the ??? and have profited.

        The anti-spam solution checklist has (x) That's a great idea. You solved it!

    • by Locke2005 (849178)
      A parallel universe where rational people prefer Vista to XP... is that the same parallel universe where supermodels prefer to date computer nerds rather than pop stars?
  • I would use Ubuntu on EeePC as it can REALLY be trimmed down, well, at least in theory.

    Here's my dream OS configuration for EeePC.

    (a) Enough computing power to do things efficiently.
    (b) Operate in two modes seamlessly:
    (1) Portable "netbook" mode.
    (2) Tethered mode, where you attach a USB keyboard and disk and a monitor, and it works like a full fledged desktop. Correctly detects the USB drive and replaces /usr or /usr/local with a partition on the USB

  • by commodore64_love (1445365) on Tuesday February 24, 2009 @12:34PM (#26970869) Journal

    I can't take seriously someone who claims he loves Vista AND considers XP to be crap.

    I can kinda, sorta understood someone liking Vista's pretty new interface, but I've been using XP for 7 years now, and it's far from being crap. It's the most stable OS I've ever used, second only to the Mac OS. Vista on the other hand..... I can't even get it to play video on cnn.com or foxnews.com. It's not the worst OS I've ever used (Windows 3 was worse), but it's still pretty sad.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 24, 2009 @12:38PM (#26970945)

      But I can't take seriously someone who wants to watch videos on foxnews.com.

    • by Colonel Korn (1258968) on Tuesday February 24, 2009 @01:07PM (#26971487)

      I can't take seriously someone who claims he loves Vista AND considers XP to be crap.

      I can kinda, sorta understood someone liking Vista's pretty new interface, but I've been using XP for 7 years now, and it's far from being crap. It's the most stable OS I've ever used, second only to the Mac OS. Vista on the other hand..... I can't even get it to play video on cnn.com or foxnews.com. It's not the worst OS I've ever used (Windows 3 was worse), but it's still pretty sad.

      The OP certainly has weird taste in somehow hating XP but liking Vista. They're not that different. XP is stable, and Vista is more stable. Vista is faster for most daily tasks (remember that our /. story showing 7 faster than XP in something like 19 of 22 tasks also showed Vista faster than XP in most tasks). Vista is slower for disk manipulation, which is baffling. They're equivalent for gaming - Vista is no longer any slower, but DX10 is still useless. Vista doesn't slow down over time like XP did, though this was never a problem for knowledgeable users anyway.

      There's no difference between the two in playing videos from cnn or that other place. The least computer literate people I know, people who can't understand what a pixel is, what a network connection is, or that there's a difference between a "computer" and "software" can do that with absolutely no problem.

      Your sig is stupid, btw.

    • Why? (Score:3, Interesting)

      by darthservo (942083)
      I realize that there is some intent of humor behind the post, but really why would it be so hard to believe that someone actually gave Vista a serious look as opposed to having a blog-formed bias against it before using it? Yes, XP is not "giant piece of crap" but Vista is better.

      Sorry, I'm just tired of hearing crap flung against Vista when people don't give it a serious look. I look forward to Windows 7 for somewhat similar reasons as the Vista-haters - we won't hear any more about Vista. But the diff
    • by fava (513118)

      I can't take seriously someone who claims he loves Vista AND considers XP to be crap.

      Lets be realistic here. Solitare on vista is much prettier that XP. For some people that the only thing the computer is being used for, therefore vista has to be better.

    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      It's the most stable OS I've ever used, second only to the Mac OS.

      I can't take someone seriously who thinks that Mac OS is more stable than Windows XP.

      I sat at a Dual G5 and a Core Duo-based Windows XP system for over a year and used both extensively. I put the XP machine through much more pain and it locked up much less frequently. I was running adobe Creative Suite on both, plus Crystal Reports on the PC (and then I'd take it home and play games on it.)

      But then, maybe it's just what I was running? To which I must add that I touched Vista once, found it slow, and rejecte

  • by GweeDo (127172) on Tuesday February 24, 2009 @12:36PM (#26970923) Homepage

    I have a Dell Mini 9 that I run stock Ubuntu 8.10 + the Netbook Remix interface on and love it. There is a good 3-4GB left on the 8GB SSD even with OpenOffice 3 and a few other bigger apps.

  • All the drivers for netbook hardware out of the box, two choices for the interface, and runs pretty darned will in 512 MB of memory.

    I have it running on a Dell Mini 9 which is fairly similar to the eee.

    https://wiki.ubuntu.com/UNR [ubuntu.com]

  • Ubuntu 8.10 + array.org kernel is just fine.

    At least on eee pc 900 you still need to use ndiswrapper for wlan - even if it would appear that the native drivers work, they don't. The connection is slower and breaks easier with them.

  • I've got Ubuntu running just fine on my Eee 901 using NDISWrapper. Go to http://packages.ubuntu.com/intrepid/ [ubuntu.com] and download the following onto a flash drive (you'll get them with the .deb extension upon clicking the link for your architecture--i386):

    From the Misc category: ndiswrapper-common and ndiswrapper-utils-1.9

    From the Network category: ndisgtk

    Put your flash drive into your Ubuntu Eee. Double click the .deb files in the order that I mentioned them above. Now you'll have a "Windows Wireless Dri
  • I recommend... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by n3tcat (664243) on Tuesday February 24, 2009 @12:48PM (#26971127) Homepage
    Windows 7. I'm sure it would rate the performance of your EEE PC in the 3.5 range.
  • mandriva 2009.0 (Score:2, Informative)

    by marros (1028810)
    I have a MSI wind and installed Mandriva 2009.0 and everything worked from the start. The hardware on the wind is almost the same as the eePC, and Mandriva was designed with netbooks in mind.
  • I'm using Fedora 9 on my (old, I know) dell inspirion 5100. All the devices are supported, but the wireless did take an hour or two to set up using ndiswrapper. Although, I take that back. It took an hour or two to figure out which was the right driver I needed.

    I'm holding off on compiling the new kernel until I assemble my new desktop, just waiting for the case and CPU. Or I may just put Fedora 10 on.
  • Just make sure you stick on eee-control (you'll have to install some of their acpi script stuff, all easy to do with the package manager) and turn off the junk you aren't using.

    I had been using stock ubuntu before that, with the array.org (go there, set up his repos) kernel + eee-control. Battery life was better using that than ubuntu-eee, so I may end up back there yet.

    Wireless is a bit touchy either way. I've heard that using ndiswrapper fixes that, but wireless has been "good enough" for my use.

    • by IANAAC (692242)
      I use UbuntuEEE also. Never had a problem with it on my 701.

      I think most wireless problems come down to differences in models. I have zero problems with wireless, including WPA2, which some people seem to have problems with.

  • Use? (Score:2, Informative)

    by mattpm (1135875)
    What exactly are you using your EeePC for? If you are simply using it for email and internet I don't see how XP can be so frustrating. I use XP on my 901 and it works like a charm for what is essentially surfing, msn (with miranda client of course) and taking lecture notes. I find the secret to increased usability and efficiency with XP on a small screen is to disable all desktop icons, move the taskbar to the top and keep your start menu organized.
  • Stock Ubuntu (Score:5, Informative)

    by jalefkowit (101585) <jason AT jasonlefkowitz DOT net> on Tuesday February 24, 2009 @12:57PM (#26971281) Homepage
    I found stock Ubuntu Intrepid with a few tweaks to be easier to set up and more pain-free than any of the "easy/tuned" distros are. Once I had everything working (including wireless), I wrote up a HOWTO explaining how to go from bare metal to a fully working system [jasonlefkowitz.net] so that others wouldn't have to go digging through a dozen forums to find the info. Check it out, might be all you need to get up and going.
  • by bcrowell (177657) on Tuesday February 24, 2009 @01:09PM (#26971511) Homepage

    I bought a Eee, with Linux preinstalled to give to my wife for her birthday last week. The wifi didn't work. Called Asus tech support, and they figured out that the problem was that the machine had an RaLink wifi card, but the only one they had working drivers for was Atheros. They weren't able to offer any solution other than returning it, so I did.

    Since they have RaLink on some of their machines, and they say they don't have working Linux drivers for RaLink, it sounds like some of the Windows versions have RaLink, and therefore the OP should check that before trying to switch to Linux.

    If you look at the Amazon reviews for the model I bought [amazon.com], you'll see a lot of people complaining that they bought the Linux version, installed Windows, and then Windows didn't work right. On all of those, I clicked the "NO" link next to "Was this review helpful to you?," because that's just silly. If you want Windows, you buy the Windows version. Installing an OS on a desktop tends to be a hassle, doing it on a standard notebook has many more pitfalls, and doing it on a netbook is even more difficult to get right. It's pretty silly that these people are blaming Asus when essentially they just bought the wrong model.

    The OP seems to be making the same mistake, but in reverse, which seems even less sensible to me. It means that MS is getting a Windows tax from him for an OS he doesn't like and isn't going to use. Great way to support an illegal monopoly when you didn't even have to, as well as creating huge hassles for yourself. My advice at this point would be either to return it if he can, or sell it on eBay, and then buy one with Linux preinstalled.

    BTW, a little googling will show that a lot of people are receiving Eees with nonfunctional wifi. I'm really looking forward to the day when Linux-based desktop and laptop machines are so cheap and good that it puts MS out of business. Unfortunately, that day hasn't come yet. The quality just isn't there yet. I've bought PCs with Linux preinstalled from a variety of vendors (Great Quality, WalMart, Asus) over the last 5 years or so. The best that ever happened was that the hardware was fine but the version of Linux that came preinstalled (ThizLinux, gOS) was lousy, so I wiped the disk and installed something else (FreeBSD, Ubuntu). The worst that ever happened was this experience with the Eee.

    • by cide (7039) on Tuesday February 24, 2009 @03:44PM (#26973927)

      Here's the rule of thumb I've followed... however I've only tested this with the Linux version. (I wasn't aware that Windows EeePC 901s use Atheros)

      EeePC ==701SD: Realtek Wifi
      EeePC <900A: Atheros Wifi
      EeePC >=901: RaLink Wifi

      As a result, the modules, depending on the version of Linux you're using varies.

      Atheros Wifi on <=2.6.24: ath_pci (madwifi) external driver
      Atheros Wifi on >=2.6.26: ath5k internal driver
      RaLink Wifi on < 2.6.28: rt2860sta external driver
      RaLink Wifi on > 2.6.28: rt2860sta internal driver*
      Realtek Wifi on < 2.6.28: rtl8187se external driver
      Realtek Wifi on > 2.6.29: rtl8187se internal driver

      * Heres the crux, as of 2.6.28, the rt2860sta internal driver uses version 1.8.0.0, but this version has broken WPA/WPA2 support. If you somehow ended up with 1.7.0.0, it too has broken WPA/WPA2 support.

      However, rt2860sta v1.7.1.1 appears to be good.

      I've been working on porting the changes introduced in v1.7.1.1 into v1.8.x.x for 2.6.29. So far it works for me, but I still need to submit this as a patch into the kernel:

      http://git.array.org/?p=kernel/stable/linux-2.6-stable.git;a=commit;h=ee8834f5551943b7bd2db49bbad9ba3c24ce6f67 [array.org]

  • Mandriva 2009.1 (Score:2, Informative)

    by edit0r (1167911)
    Mandriva 2009.1 everything works out of the box
  • Wireless (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Nutty_Irishman (729030) on Tuesday February 24, 2009 @01:13PM (#26971581)
    If you replace the wireless card with an intel based wireless card, you should have no problems with any linux distro. I replaced my wireless card on my MSI Wind with the Intel 3945 and have no problems in linux http://www.google.com/products?q=intel+PRO+3945 [google.com]
  • I installed ubuntu-eee 8.04.1 on my rather old eee (701 4G ) and it worked fine. Wireless, no slow down, the interface is good for small stuff and the battery drains fast - when the thing is turned off, this is a bug with the computer's itself and not related with the OS - I am not sure if it could have really gone much worse with 8.10 or if it is the computer that got worse with new releases.
  • HP MIE (Score:2, Informative)

    by sam.haskins (1106069)
    The HP "Mobile Internet Experience" Distro, designed to be only used on their netbooks, but _excellent_ on others, including my Lenovo S10 is my recommendation. You install it by using HP's "recovery usb key" tool :) Get it at http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/softwareList?os=2020&lc=en&dlc=en&cc=us&product=3860346# [hp.com] It's very usuable, and fits right into the idea of a personal device as a resource to you. Plus, it's Ubuntu underneath, so you can add whatever you want :)
  • by jon3k (691256)
    I'm almost afraid to say it with the army of Ubuntu users on here, but I've installed fedora 10 on both an Asus Eee 901 and a Dell Mini9 for a couple different friends and it's worked fantastic.

    Just don't forget, assuming solid state disk, to set noatime in fstab for the appropriate mount point(s). You'll see a massive improvement in performance, and, in theory, life span of your flash based disk.
  • I am writing this post on an Eee PC 1000 that arrived yesterday. It is running Jaunty Netbook Remix. Everything (for me) worked "out of the box" in Jaunty, even web cam and wireless. Just because it is in Alpha doesnt mean it cant be used. The one down side is that it is the i386 build and no LPIA, but I can live with that till it goes live in April.

  • You may want to check out Debian, especially now Lenny has been released as Debian 5.0. It includes a decent amount of work from the DebianEeePC team (http://wiki.debian.org/DebianEeePC), and runs nicely. Like all distributions, there are a few rough edges for some Eee PC models (due to hardware differences and less-than-ideal drivers being available).

    In the end, it will probably depend largely on what people are used to in terms of Linux distributions. But if you like Debian and Debian-derivatives, I wo

  • I haven't seen it posted yet so far, but the couple times I've used it it was pretty nice. I don't personally own an EEE so I can't say much more than to look into it.

  • by Locke2005 (849178) on Tuesday February 24, 2009 @01:36PM (#26972087)
    If you truly prefer Vista to XP, then the only course of action I can recommend for you is euthanasia.
  • That would be Xandros Linux for the Eee PC. Reason: as maligned as it seems to be, it still is the one that supports the 1000H's hardware the best.

    I myself use Slax, because I have the time to tweak it, and because I don't have a HD in my Eee PC (only 4GB of SSD), and do believe that for the "smaller" Eee PCs is the absolute best out there, but if I was a novice AND I had a 1000H or 1000HD, it'd go with what Asus prepared for it.

  • You said nice things about Vista......and you think you can just walk away.
  • by Idou (572394)
    It was easy to install and all the hardware runs fine without tweaking. However, just a couple caveats:

    -the "Control Panel" (drakconf) is sometimes too big (eeepc has same issue with programs like Skype) -Don't think it automatically sleeps when shut (I think fn + Esc works, though)

    To increase performance, you can try other window managers (Mandriva makes it pretty easy to try other WM). Just 2 cents from someone who has actually installed a different distro on their eeepc . . .
  • just go ahead and put vista on it.
    I tihnk you're crazy but its a free world.

  • For what it's worth, I put eee-ubuntu (which has now been renamed to "EasyPeasy", I guess) on my asus 900 and it runs pretty well. From the other options I looked at, none really seemed any better; and EP had the advantage of having a very easy install.

    This may have changed in the past 4-5 months but so far it's best option I've found, particularly for something that worked out of the box pretty much from the get-go (barring a one-line change to fstab to get the SDcard slot working, and that might be fixed

  • by lolocaust (871165) <sage> on Tuesday February 24, 2009 @02:01PM (#26972509) Homepage Journal
    On my eeePC 901, I'm using the standard Ubuntu 8.10 install and then using a wired connection I have installed Adamm's kernel which fixes all the hardware issues. The instructions are simple to follow and are available at http://array.org/ubuntu/ [array.org] (if you can use apt-get you can follow these instructions).
  • Easy Peasy is the rebranding of Ubuntu-eee and uses Ubuntu 8.10 as its upstream. So it's the next version up from the Ubuntu-eee that others have mentioned. It works great on my wife's eeePC 1000.

    http://www.geteasypeasy.com/ [geteasypeasy.com]

  • FreeBSD (Score:3, Interesting)

    by sremick (91371) on Tuesday February 24, 2009 @03:05PM (#26973481)

    Not bad for a "dead" OS:

    http://wiki.freebsd.org/AsusEee [freebsd.org]

  • I'm glad you asked! (Score:3, Informative)

    by malevolentjelly (1057140) on Tuesday February 24, 2009 @03:46PM (#26973951) Journal

    Well, I've been fooling with a much smaller and lower-end Eee over the last week or so (the $200 900a), and I'm just brimming with nasty experiences to share.

    First and foremost- if you are a fan of Windows and your Eee has a non-SSD HDD, you really need to be using Windows 7. They are still passing out serial numbers and the disk images themselves are easy to find on bittorrent sites. It's honestly fantastic. Everything you like about Vista is just better in Windows 7 and most of what you didn't like is gone- plus the performance, damn.

    Second, let's talk linux: running Linux on the EeePC is a real Monkey's paw sort of experience. With every upside is a cruel and awful downside-- and such. For instance, you can run Ubuntu Netbook Remix which uses Intel's LPIA architecture instead of i386-- that's really cool because it does a lot of static scheduling (I believe) and SSE3 optimization that is really great for the Atom processor... but it's not going to support you hardware perfectly. It's an OEM product so no time has been devoted to working out issues with the Asus ACPI. Basically, you're supposed to be paying Canonical for a working branded experience like HP and Dell did... unless you feel like doing the work yourself.

    Easy Peasy 1.0 has all the hardware support down, but once more you're going to be running Ubuntu Netbook Remix's interface. I mean, let's face it- The EeePC 1000 is not just a device, it's a full computer. You probably want to treat it like an actual system not a toy. UNR's interface is really attention deficit and designed for serial single-tasking. Besides, I like to stay away from custom spins and stay on the mainline to receive better support and more timely upgrades/security updates. I'd rather not my system's health be dependent on some random stranger's freetime.

    Honestly, you need to look into Mandriva. It's a fantastic and very pretty home distribution with full official support for the EeePC. I would recommend keeping a tiny FreeDOS partition (or usb key) around for bios updates, which come pretty frequently and often work in concert with system updates on Mandriva. You really should try it-- it might be just what you're looking for if you want solid support and to avoid headaches. Furthermore, if you want to get really creative you can always set up a custom system with LXDE-- I can link to a guide if anyone asks.

    Personally, I run Asus Xandros on my machine with unionfs disabled to conserve diskspace (I only have 4 gb!). It's a well adjusted distribution with full support for the ACPI and a great CPU frequency profile. Also, it comes with all the codecs you'll need and uses all mplayer by default (no gstreamer, no pulseaudio-- simple and practical). The only downside (on the 900a) is that the touchpad's tap functionality is just awful when using the elantech X driver. I am not sure if it would be the same case on a 1000. If you want the Xandros distribution, you can probably torrent it- it doesn't use CD keys or anything.

    Alternatively, you could also try HP's MIE image (Mobile Internet Experience). It's pretty close to an Eee 1000, so just get the support tool from HP that's designed to make a "recovery image" for you and just "recover" your EeePC. That's a custom spin of UNR + software and codecs-- not a bad way to go.

    So, in conclusion:

    1. Windows 7 (as supported as Vista)
    2. Xandros (if you have it) (fully supported)
    3. Mandriva 2009.0 (Gnome) (fully supported)
    4. HP MIE (possibly supported)
    5. Ubuntu Netbook Remix (partially supported)
    6. Easy Peasy 1.0 (fully supported but crappy)

    And there ya go.

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