Swtiching to Linux OS from Windows XP on an EeePC 1000H

Hello all,

I’ve had an ASUS EeePC 1000H that I bought with Windows XP installed for about 18 months. I chose XP at the time as I had no knowledge or experience of using Linux and Windows was what I knew. The laptop is great but I’ve since become very interested in running Linux on it. I understand that the EeePc was actually built with Linux in mind and I could have chosen to have it installed when I bought it.

Anyway, I’m now interested in installing Linux onto it and need a good guiding hand to take me through the process of moving over. I have the drivers disk that came with the EeePC although I don’t have a CD drive to get them off if I were to go ahead with an install off Linux, so we’ll need to bear that in mind.

I have experience of reinstalling windows before but that’s about it. So please help me with going about this transition. The questions I have in my mind that are putting me off are

  1. If I need drivers from the CD, fine, but how can I get them onto the PC - will a USB pen drive work without drivers?

Actually, that’s about it for the moment! Anyway all help is appreciated.

Thanks

OC

First things first finding the right distro (linux distribution package) for you, there a literally hundreds of linux distros out there finding the right one for you will probably be the hardest part about linux at least in my opinion

Few netbook linux distros for you to look at

Ubuntu Netbook Remix

EEEBuntu

EasyPeasy

Jolicloud

Most netbook Linux distros comes with a “LiveUSB” version which is a complete, fully functioning and operational system, this allows you to test out various distros until your set on the one your happy with.

As you don’t have a CD-Rom drive i would suggest going over to

if you need any more help just shout :slight_smile:

First, in answer to your question…Yes a USB pen drive WILL work WITHOUT drivers BUT they are going to be Windows drivers, so no use for Linux

And I agree with ‘goldendragonuk’, you should test a few Distros (Linux versions) out first… you are in an ideal position to do this, you can boot the EeePC from USB stick, and therefore check out a few distros WITHOUT loosing your Windows installation, as Linux will run quite happily from a Pendrive.

If you find one you like, and are happy with Linux, THEN you can overwrite the Windows installation on your hard drive (SSD).

Your first stop should be:

Can I also point you to:
http://netbook-experience.com/
where you will find an article about How to install Linux Mint 8 (Helena) on the Acer Aspire One… I know this is for the AA1, but it is actually the instructions for loading it to a USB stick so will apply to the EeePC… as well as any other Linux distro.
Check the rest of that page, because there is a comparison of Linpus Lite (standard linux install on eeepc and acer aspire one netbooks), Mint 8 main edition, and Mint 8 fluxbox.

Mint 8 fluxbox = VERY fast, faster than the standard linpus, and FULL software availability, as it’s based on Ubuntu.
Mint 8 XFCE or LXDE = half way between fluxbox and main editions, desktop similar to Gnome, but with ‘nearly’ the speed of fluxbox, and FULL software availability, as it’s based on Ubuntu.
Mint 8 main = Gnome desktop, very much like windows and easy for first time Linux users to understand, and FULL software availability, as it’s based on Ubuntu.
Linpus Lite = very simple ‘idiot proof’ interface, and quite quick, but very outdated, and limited in software availabilty.

Personally I’d check out the XFCE or LXDE versions, Screenshots here

Linux Mint 8 (any edition) and the Ubuntu Netbook remix will install ALL the drivers for your EeePC for you, but in my opinion Mint is easier going because it also installs the mutimedia codecs and other useful stuff by default. (waits for the ubuntu backlash :wink: )

BE AWARE: that your windows applications are NOT going to work in Linux, BUT most Linux distros are going to install most if not all of the software you are going to need for you at the same time as it installs itself, and any other software you may need is going to be free… Viruses and Malware will be a thing of the past too ;D

Once you settle on a distro, and you are sure you want to overwrite your windows installation on your hard drive, we will help you install it.

Links to Mint and Ubuntu (amongst others) can be found in ‘Links’ (top of page) or here:
http://forum.linux.co.uk/index.php?action=links

Hi Guys,

Time to give you an update on how I’m doing I think. First of all thanks for the advice the pair of you gave me. It’s helped me get well on my way to making the move to linux.

So far I’ve managed to test drive two distributions of linux on my EeePC from a USB pen drive - Ubuntu Netbook Remix and EasyPeasy.

I’ve had a good play with them for an hour or two at least and I’d say I preferred the UNR, although I wouldn’t switch to linux for either of them - I’ve not found the distro to draw me in yet I guess.

On both of them I could browse the web on firefox and use document software, so that’s all fine and good. However, I couldn’t figure out how to use an instant messenger on either of them. The UNR has one called Empathy and EasyPeasy came with Pidgin, which I use on Windows and know well, but I couldn’t connect to MSN on either software on either distribution. Any ideas as to why this might be? I wondered if it could be down to me running a sort of incomplete version of the OS i.e. from a memory pen, which I know slows it down greatly and limits some features?

I’m currently downloading the standard, XFCE and Fluxbox versions of Linux Mint 8. I’ll give each of those a whirl and see if they take my fancy. Do you have any other distributions to recommend for someone who’s coming from XP, who doesn’t actually mind the interface of Windows that much, but wants to try Linux for it’s speed, reliability, stability, etc.?

Thanks again,

OC

Hi,

Empathy is built on quite a large library called ‘telepathy’ which does many things of which MSN messaging is just one. If you can check whether the package;

telepathy-butterfly

Is installed, as this is the telepathy module that deals with MSN … it may be that UNR isn’t installing it by default. I think pidgin should have MSN built-in, so I’m not sure why that’s giving you problems … I’m logged in using Telepathy atm as madpenguin@linux.co.uk on a standard Ubuntu 9.10 system, so the current release should work Ok …

I agree, I can’t for the life of me think why at least pidgin wouldn’t work, are you sure you are selecting MSN as the protocol?

If you want an ‘instant messenger’ VERY much like MSN Messenger, try installing aMSN from the package manager

Another update for you all, and some ideas needed from you.

I’m currently playing with Linux Mint 8 Fluxbox and am very impressed by it. I’m no Linux connoisseur of course, but I really like it. I’m going to try the XFCE distro. soon to compare it but I can actually see me living with Fluxbox and loving it. Pidgin works for me on there too, which is good news.

So what I want to ask is for any other recommended distributions of linux that you think I might like and should try out before opting for one. What do you recommend?

Also, now that I’m close to the big move, I have to be cautious and be prepared to move back to XP if I run into any issues in future. I have the driver disk that came with the EeePc, which I assume has everything on it that I would need to re-install XP. But as you all know I have no CD drive, so how would I be able to use the discs to re-install windows without a CD drive? I feel like I need to know I can go back if anything goes wrong. I’m sure you understand.

Anyway, many thanks for the help so far and hope to hear from you soon.

Cheers,

OC

On the ‘EeePC Recovery DVD’ you will find a utility to create a Bootable USB stick/drive (in Windows) from the recovery image that is stored on the DVD.
The utility ‘ToolHelper.exe’ is located in the :\Software\BootTool directory.

Obviously you will need to create this on a Windows PC with a free USB slot, and a DVD drive.
1) Right click on DVD in Explorer and select Explore
2) Go to Software folder and then BootTool folder
3) Insert USB stick/drive (larger than) 1GB
4) Run ToolHelper.exe and follow instuctions

Once you’ve created the Recovery USB stick/drive, just boot from ‘it’ instead of you hard drive, and follow the instructions to reinstall Windows and software (wipes the hard drive and puts your EeePC back to factory default settings… how it came out of the box).

Instructions on how to make a USB stick from a ‘normal’ windows installation CD can be found here:

or

or
http://www.jasbone.com/blog/archives/2008/01/installing-xp-o.html.php

I’m a Mint 8 (Main edition) user, so my vote is for Mint 8, but if you want a ‘fuller’ desktop experience than the fluxbox edition, without loosing much if any speed try the LXDE edition.

Also, Ubuntu 10.04 (Lucid Lynx) comes out on the April 29th (Mint 9 will follow shortly afterwards), you might want to try the main and UNR (Ubuntu Netbook Remix) after that date… or try the betas now.
http://releases.ubuntu.com/10.04/

BTW, Ubuntu 10.04 (Lucid Lynx) has iPod/iPhone support built in by default, amongst other things… So it will be in Mint 9 also.

OK guys I’ve done it! Linux Mint 8 Fluxbox CE is now installed on my EeePC. I think it’s installed right. I have to say that, now that I’ve followed the instructions on the USB installation, what I’ve come out with is quite different to what I thought Fluxbox was like. Ha. I think perhaps I’d been tinkering with standard Linux Mint 8 when I made that last post? I was expecting a little Windows-esk menu button in the bottom left which allowed me to type into a search box upon pressing it. But it seems Fluxbox has no such feature. But nevermind! I’m still quite fond of what I’ve got here.

Anyway, the are two questions/issues that have come up.

1)I can’t seem to find any way of monitoring battery life. There’s no icon on the toolbar and I can’t find anything that even mentions the battery in the menu - accessed, I’ve found, through a right click on the desktop. Is there a program on here that I’m missing, or do I need to download something to do this job?

  1. As I’ve eluded to, I’m not entirely sure I’ve fully installed Fluxbox. I used the universal USB thingy majiggy to put it on a memory pen like I’ve been doing to test drive the other distributions, and selected something along the lines of ‘install on this computer’, and followed steps from there (wiping XP). But what concerns me is that when I right click to open up the menu, there is still an option to install, which when clicked, starts up the installation process again. Is this normal, or am I still in some kind of testing stage still?

OK, thanks and hope to hear from some of you soon.

Cheers,

OC

Woop! A third question has just come up.

  1. There’s a circular symbol in the top left of every window - browser, file manager etc. - that I can click to make it go solid. What is the meaning of this? haha! I can’t understand what it does.

Oh and while I’m on…

  1. When I right click on the toolbar there is an option called ‘Alpha’. When I click it the number it starts on goes down. It starts on ‘Alpha:255’. What’s this all about?

Thanks again,

OC

If you had a search box in the Mint Menu, you were using the Mint main edition.

The dockable battery monitor application you need in fluxbox is ‘wmbattery’, this can be installed from the package manager (synaptic).

Or manually installed by opening a terminal and typing:

sudo apt-get install wmbattery

To make wmbattery autostart at boot, open a terminal and type:

mousepad ~/.fluxbox/startup

and add:

wmbattery &

on a new line the end of the file and save it. (the & symbol is IMPORTANT)

There is a GUI menu editor in fluxbox (you can use to remove the install option) as can be seen at the following website, it should also anwser your other questions -

The fluxmenu menu editor is normally installed by default in most fluxbox editions, but if it isn’t, it is part of the fluxconf package that can be installed through the synaptic package manager.

The fluxbox menu can also be edited manually, as the menus are stored in a plain text file -

mousepad ~/.fluxbox/menu

Instructions here -

The alpha:255 that you mentioned is an alpha blending numerical value corresponding to the transparency of the window.
Alpha values range from 0 through 255, where 0 represents a fully transparent color, and 255 represents a fully opaque color

The ‘Go Solid’ button I’m assuming will make a transparent window… go solid :slight_smile:

But if you were happy with your performance under the Mint main edition, why not switch back to it?.. or consider the LXDE edition which performs as well as fluxbox but has a more familiar desktop.

Hi guys,

In the end I’ve settled with the standard Linux Mint 8 ditro. I like it’s little search box, the four workspaces and the distro in general. But I have a problem at the moment: there doesn’t appear to be a software included that allows me to use the webcam on my EeePc. I’m pretty sure I was able to on some of the other distros I’ve tried so it must be possible. Am I missing something? If not, what do I need to do? I did try using the software manager but my search for ‘webcam’ software didn’t come up with anything.

Thanks for the help,

OC

For video capture install the luvcview and/or cheese packages from the synaptic package manager… aMSN should work with your webcam for MSN (also in synaptic), and if you want skype go here:

http://www.skype.com/intl/en-gb/download/skype/linux/choose/

And download the Ubuntu 8.10+ 32-bit version… once you have the .deb file, just double click it to start the installer, then if it says “All dependencies are satisfied” click the Install Package button

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