General Linux advice for a newbie

Hi there!

I recently got an Eee 900 notebook with Linux on it. The problem is that it was bought in 2008 and never used until now. I have been advised that the version of Linux that is on it (although I have no idea what it is) is old and not very good and advised to install a new one. Which is the best one to go for? I only really use my notebook for the internet and some word processing if that helps.

I should also mention that up until I got this I had never even heard of Linux and while not completely clueless, I am not at all savvy with computers, so if you could keep things simple I would really appreciate it!

The EeePC comes with Xandros (Linux), and as you suggest it’s an old crippled Linux disribution… pretty much ALL Linux distributions will run on an EeePC 900.

Maybe you should look at some of the many Ubuntu based distributions that were specifically made for the EeePC, such as:




Both of the above are based on Ubuntu 10.04 LTS (netbook edition)… so you there’s nothing stopping you from going for Ubuntu 10.04 LTS Netbook Edition, which can be downloaded from here:

Or you could try the latest Ubuntu 11.04, which may or may not be slower on your hardware, as 11.04 isn’t specifically designed for netbooks.

There’s a test of 11.04 on an EeePC 900 here:
(the author seems to prefer 10.04 UNE, but that’s a personal opinion)

Any of the above will give you a MUCH larger choice of software, and they are all still under active development, so are still receiving updates.

Why not try them ALL ?

They are all LiveCD’s, so can be installed to a USB stick… this will allow you to test drive them without affecting the current Xandros OS… once you find the one you like, install it to the SSD, overwriting Xandros.

Be aware when running any Linux distro from a USB stick, it will be slower than running it from the SSD, so don’t draw any performance conclusions from a LiveUSB.

If you need further info on how to create a LiveUSB stick, just ask :slight_smile:

It doesn’t have to be an Ubuntu based distro, there are plenty of others… many of which will be faster than the Ubuntu based distros, but may be harder to set up or find help for, or may have less software available in the repositories.

So it really depends on your priorities.

My advice, if you’re new to Linux… go for one of the Ubuntu based distro’s… ie. ANY of the above :wink:

Thank you so much for that- exactly what I was looking for! I’ll try easy-easy first (the name appeals!) and go from there!

Thanks once again!

Okay, I seem to have run into a few problems installing easy-peasy; I can down load it, but when I try to run it to install then it asks me what program I want to use to run it. I’m guessing I’m missing the software necessary. Whats the easiest/best way to get around that?

If you’ve downloaded the ISO image, continue from step 2 here:

to get it onto a USB stick from a windows PC

If you want to be able to run Easy Peasy from the LiveUSB (for test driving), and be able to save changes… make sure you add a persistence file whilst creating the LiveUSB

Then once created, you need to boot the EeePC from the USB stick by selecting it from the boot device selection screen… here’s a video for how to do that:

How To Setup the Asus Eee PC for Booting from a USB Flash Drive

I am so sorry to show my incompetance yet again… but that all worked superbly, right up until I tried to then install easy peasy from the pen drive onto the computer. It lets me get started and asks the questions (region, timezone etc) but when it gets to question 3 (keyboard) it just freezes - or rather it just keeps loading indefinately. I’ve tried leaving it for a few hours, but no effect. Do I need to try reloading the programme on the pen? (I can run it fine off the pendrive…)

I’ve just found this on the Easy Peasy forum:

Try another USB pendrive… and maybe try using Unetbootin to load the ISO to the USB stick:

Unetbootin won’t (AFAIK) create a “persistent” LiveUSB though, so for now keep the one you have that works “as is”.

Thank you for all the help you have given me - I’ve tried out Easy peasy, and while I do rather like it I am seriously short of room on my netbook (I only have a 2gig one). Is there a smaller operating system that would be better? I was wondering about Damn Small Linux, but I have no idea if it is Eee friendly…

If you like Easy-Peasy, why not stick with it… you could always do a custom install and put /usr on an SDHC card which will save room on the SSD … I take it your EeePC had an SD slot ?

Like the guy here did:

Second from last post.

DSL is certainly small, as is Puppy and Slitaz, but I couldn’t comment on how easy they would be to install on an EeePC (I haven’t got one)… but there’s nothing stopping you from trying them.