The EeePC and Aspire One: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Posted by Scott_Ruecker on Mar 10, 2009 9:01 AM EDT
LXer Linux News; By Derek Knowlton
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LXer Feature: 10-Mar-2009

With the introduction of the EeePC and the Aspire One I was in love.. Originally I just had to have the Asus, but with the great deal Walmart was offering on Black Friday (yeah, I know but I bought the Acer at Wallyworld) I decided to buy an Aspire One as well. Let me tell you about 'The Good, the Bad and the Ugly' of these two machines.

With the introduction of the EeePC and the Aspire One I was in love.. Originally I just had to have the Asus, but with the great deal Walmart was offering on Black Friday (yeah, I know but I bought the Acer at Wallyworld) I decided to buy an Aspire One as well.

Both of these little powerhouses have Windows XP and intrepid ibex installed. Recently I installed Fedora 10 making the Acer a triple boot machine. After getting the wireless up by installing the Madwifi ath_pci drivers I was on my way to building two fantastic machines full of Linux goodness. Let me tell you about 'The Good, the Bad and the Ugly' of these two machines.

The Asus EeePC 1000HD weighing in at 900 MHz Intel Atom with a 120 gig hard drive supporting USB/SD card boot. The EeePC came with Windows XP installed and since I have installed Ubuntu 8.10 and run Backtrack 3 off of an SD Card. 3 USB port (1 on the left and 2 on the right side of the box) and 1 SD card slot. Three Ubuntu packages exist to improve support for the EeePC.

eee-applet
eee-control
eeepc-acpi-scripts

An advantage to the Asus are the restore CD's, unfortunately Acer is still using a restore partition instead of providing CD's to reinstall the system. The Acer Aspire One Weighs in with a 1.6 GHz Intel Atom Processor with a 160 gig hard drive that supported booting from USB. It also came with Windows XP installed which I have since installed Ubuntu 8.10 on and run Backtrack 3 off of an SD Card.

It has 3 USB ports, 1 on the left and 2 on the right side of the box along with 2 SD card slots, one is designed to act as additional Hard Drive space to move from box to box. The Aspire One does not boot from an SD card, or I have not been able to modify the bios correctly. In any case the EeePC does boot from an SD card quite easily.

The wireless drivers for both boxes can be installed with the following method:

wget http://snapshots.madwifi-project.org/madwifi-hal-0.10.5.6-cu...
sudo apt-get install build-essential linux-headers-$(uname -r)
tar -xzf madwifi-hal-0.10.5.6-current.tar.gz
cd madwifi-hal-0.10.5.6*/
make
sudo make install
sudo modprobe ath_pci

You will probably also have to edit /etc/modules with the following...
sudo nano /etc/modules

# /etc/modules: kernel modules to load at boot time.
#
# This file contains the names of kernel modules that should be loaded
# at boot time, one per line. Lines beginning with "#" are ignored.

fuse
lp
ath_pci (add this statement)

I also had no problem installing the codecs for totem player and Rhythmbox. The first movie I watch was 'The Good, the Bad and the Ugly' using decrypted ISO to play that and other movies. I would like to thank the member who posted the information about the ath_pci wifi on Ubuntu forums for the information listed here @ Ubuntu Documentation > Community Documentation > Aspire One. Also I would recommend checking synaptic package manager for the EeePC because special modules have been added to support it.

The next step was making the Linux portable. Ubuntu has added the install to USB feature, and Fedora has a similar system to take ISOs and install them to a flash drive. I have found that Ubuntu has remastersys available. This is a must have for anyone working with USB boot systems, remastersys works great, and makes an updated ISO of Ubuntu.

It is not necessary to download the updates and reinstall all of the packages to move Ubuntu from one box to another. Just build the distro the way you want it and remaster the ISO. You can take your distro with you as a live CD, live USB, or install it to another box. remastersys also works great to remaster ISO files for future installation and build remastered updated USB boot drives.

The following third party repositories were added to download the packages...

http://www.geekconnection.org/remastersys/repository


http://www.array.org/ubuntu

Both of these computers are great solutions for compact computing and have the power to support just about all applications for programming, networking or tech support. As a field tech I love both of these systems and would recommend either of them to anybody. Unfortunately, the Acer has a faster processor and larger hard drive than the EeePC model that was available when I bought mine.

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Just so you know, you can easily remix/respin Fedora as well dowdle 0 1,053 Mar 10, 2009 12:32 PM

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