Eeebuntu / Ubuntu Linux on the Asus Eee PC S101

Last weekend I’ve got an Eee PC S101, now I’ve got time to test it: I’m writing some notes here sharing the first experience with the S101 and useful links for installation. After delivery I’ve upgraded the netbook to 2 GB RAM using a Kingston 2GB 667MHz DDR2 Non-ECC CL5 SO DIMM module. The S101 came with Windows XP. Though I’m mainly using Ubuntu Linux I decided to keep XP for compatibility reasons but to install a double boot system with Linux and Windows. I’ve used the free EASEUS Partition Master 3.5 Home Edition to resize the XP partition to 8 GB, that worked fine. I installed the Gavotte RAM disk and linked tmp and temp directory there as well as the browser cache to speed up work and to save SSD life time. For the TeX work I’ve added TeXnicCenter and MiKTeX. I’ve chosen MiKTeX because it’s been a great distribution since many years, further I’ve already planned to install the alternative TeX Live 2008 on the Linux partition.

eeebuntu logo
But the Windows installation wasn’t the main issue – back to Linux. I decided to install Eeebuntu, in particular the Eeebuntu Netbook Remix 2.0. After downloading the Eeebuntu NBR iso file I’ve used Unetbootin to save that iso image to the SD card that came with the S101 and to make the SD card bootable. The S101 is able to boot from the SD card, so I did it, the Eeebuntu live system started, using this I installed Eeebuntu to the remaining free 8 GB space on the internal SSD. That was done quickly, not much to tell. The GRUB boot manager has been installed and allows me to choose between Ubuntu Linux and Windows. Ubuntu runs fine now, I’ve also linked the Firefox browser cache to the RAM disk located on /dev/shm.

Finally I’ve installed Kile by Synaptic and TeX Live 2008 over the internet using the small network installer package. The latter took some time but required few interaction. Even after it failed because of a network disconnection restarting it just continued the installation with the same settings. After adding some tools and of course some math software I’m very satisfied with it and I’m using it right now.

20. April 2009 by stefan
Categories: Uncategorized | 14 comments

Comments (14)

  1. Pingback: LaTeX auf Netbook | hilpers

  2. I’m running Ubuntu Netbook Remix 9.04 on my S101. Everything works great: camera, mic, speakers, wireless, hibernate. bluetooth is detected but I haven’t tried any devices yet.

    One problem: wireless doesn’t work after waking from hibernate. wireless hardware seems to still be alive, as I can detect networks, but attempting to connect to them doesn’t work.

    Are you having similar problems with eeebuntu?

  3. Hi jimmy,

    I didn’t use hibernate until now, just standby from time to time, reconnection to wireless networks did always work well afterwards.

    Stefan

  4. Is there a significant difference between the TeX Live 2007 that is in the Ubuntu repositories to TeX Live 2008? I wonder if I should bother installing the newest, or use the easy way to install.

  5. Hi Hezy,

    there’s a lot of updated packages coming with TeX Live 2008. TL 2007 is running well, you could go the repository way if you don’t have high requirements. But the TL 2008 installation is really easy, not much more than starting the network installer and wait until it’s been finished. Btw. I’ve used the “create symlinks” option.

    One thing that might not be so easy could be a problem with the dependencies: for instance Kile depends on texlive packages, it could be hard to install Kile without them. Texmaker just recommends texlive instead of requiring. But it would work, though it’s not clean ;-) to install TL 2008 just over the existing texlive-2007 system from the repositories (with symlinks).

    Stefan

  6. Hi Stefan,

    I wanted to follow up, and let you know that by installing “linux-backports-modules-jaunty”, I fixed the wireless reconnect problem with my s101 w/ Ubuntu 9.04 NBR.

    Also just realized that multi-touch works out of the box! Two finger click is middle click, and two finger drag is scroll…way cool!

  7. Hi, nice blog, I’ll bookmark it immediately!

    I own an S101 too. I’ve installed Debian onto.

    Just to know:

    1) When using audio (mp3′s or videos) do you hear an annoying high-spike at the beginning of the reproduction? (someone told me that I need to upgrade the BIOS to fix that)

    2) How long does it take to boot? (from power-on to gdm/xdm login screen)

    Thanks!

  8. Hi Albertm

    1) I didn’t notice such a sound problem.

    2) It takes 30 seconds from grub boot screen until I’m logged in, I’m using autologon in the moment. But I didn’t tweak much, you could speed up booting by building a readahead profile. There are some other ways to improve the performance, like setting the cpu frequency to maximal performance, disabling unused services and plugins.

    Eeebuntu 3.0 could be faster. Though it’s available now I cannot install it because I’m on a cruise ship since 3 weeks, the slow satellite connection doesn’t allow me to download the installation file and needed programs, so I’m working with Eeebuntu 2.0 and I will upgrade in some weeks.

    Stefan

  9. i love the Asus Eee PC, it is very light, cheap and portable. I also bought another unit for my girlfriend and she really likes it.

  10. Asus Eee is very convenient to carry. It is my walkaround laptop wherever i go. The battery life could have been better though

  11. i recently bought a white Asus Eee PC and i am very surprised about the size of this machine. it is very small and lightweight compared to my Toshiba laptop.

  12. Hi Stefan.

    Just to let you know that you can replace the default keyboard (with that annoying right shift…) with the keyboard of an Eeepc 1000HE.

    I’ve done this mod by myself, going from the standard S101 keyboard (IT layout) to the 1000HE keyboard (US layout). If you want to do that, remember to update your BIOS to the latest version available, otherwise some keys might not work.

    Cheers,

    Alberto (yeah, the same as #7)

  13. I was forgetting: sound is fine (despite of the low-quality external speaker — with headset the sound is great!) and with a carefully compiled kernel my boot sequence takes just 20 seconds.

    Cheers,

    Alberto

  14. Hi Alberto,

    thank you for sharing your experience!
    The built-in speakers are bad indeed, not loud enough.

    The keyboard is ok for me, though a bit small of course. I’m using the German layout.

    Since some of my friends and colleagues asked about how to get this beautiful netbook I wonder if there would be a similar model now or soon, especially with a flash disk and hopefully a more powerful processor. Though I will keep my S101 I hope flash-based eee pcs will stay available. Because I’m still at sea and will be so for some months I’m rarely online to follow the development.

    Stefan

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