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Linux - Laptop and Netbook Having a problem installing or configuring Linux on your laptop? Need help running Linux on your netbook? This forum is for you. This forum is for any topics relating to Linux and either traditional laptops or netbooks (such as the Asus EEE PC, Everex CloudBook or MSI Wind).

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Old 12-15-2008, 03:20 PM   #1
suicideducky
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Archlinux or Gentoo Linux more suited to a netbook with a SSD


Hey all hope this is the right place to post.
First of all this is not a x distro is better than y distro thread.

I have used Gentoo Linux for years and always loved it, on my ole p4 beast of a laptop (toshiba te2100) and have always had arch to play with in a spare partition, I liked it, but never had any reason to prefer it over Gentoo.

As Gentoo is a sourced based distro compiling is pretty much apart of everyday life (sure there are some binary packets etc.) and the computer I just brought (that I dont get until christmas ) is an HP mini 1000 which has a 1.6ghz atom processor, 8GB SSD (16GB was not available in new zealand AFAIK) and 1GB ram.

I am thinking that maybe a binary based distro would better suit the mobile life of a netbook and not beat the poor SSD into the ground.

Another option is DISTCC (distributed compiling) across both the netbook and the TE2100 which I might convert to a smallscale server(running gentoo xP). It would also be possible to use TMPFS or maybe an SD card to do the compiling on.

If I was to install a binary distro, it would have to be something more towards the Gentoo Linux / Archlinux region instead of the Ubuntu/Mepis region (I used to be a HUGE fanboy of Mepis back in the day)

Would just like to hear all your opinions, any owners of netbooks or just anyone who wants to have their say.

Thanks again, Ducky.
 
Old 12-15-2008, 03:48 PM   #2
farslayer
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Either should work fine.. although I doubt I would want to sit around waiting for the atom CPU to complete a large compile..
Here is the list of Distro HOW-TO's I found for my Acer Aspire One Netbook (Hardware is pretty similar to the unit you mentioned)

http://wiki.debian.org/DebianAcerOne
http://www.thev.net/cgi-bin/awki.cgi...amp=1222950371 < - slackware 12.1
http://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Acer_Aspire_One
https://help.ubuntu.com/community/AspireOne
http://en.gentoo-wiki.com/wiki/Acer_Aspire_One_A110L
http://en.opensuse.org/OpenSUSE_on_the_Aspire_One
http://www.foresightlinux.org/mobile.html
Mandriva 2009
Mandriva has also announced (released ?) Mandriva Mini which is specialized for netbooks.


I installed Debian on my Netbook and haven't looked back, but then again that's my distro of choice. Best of luck in your decision. I just couldn't stick with Linpus Lite the default Distro, Felt like someone tied my hands behind my back trying to use it.
 
Old 12-15-2008, 04:00 PM   #3
suicideducky
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Quote:
Originally Posted by farslayer View Post
I installed Debian on my Netbook and haven't looked back, but then again that's my distro of choice. Best of luck in your decision. I just couldn't stick with Linpus Lite the default Distro, Felt like someone tied my hands behind my back trying to use it.
I actually had your reply to another post open in another window and was wondering if I should check out these links myself :P

May I ask what WM/DE you use for your debuain install?

And the default distros that come with them, IMO, seem to be more of a "hey this looks fast and useful" when the customer is reviewing it in stores but as soon as the user gets home they realise they are restricted. I mean what is up with the EEE xandros distro by default only supporting upto 1GB of ram? you can recompile the kernel to support more, but still.

I feel almost bad for considering moving away from Gentoo, as I realise whatever distro I use in my day to day life pushes the other distros into the background, Gentoo is what I know and I do not want to loose that. But I think archlinux ATM seems like a better option, would not want to slaughter my SSD and atom with all the compiling. *TEAR*

Any other opinions?
Thanks again, Ducky.
 
Old 12-15-2008, 04:27 PM   #4
syg00
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I haven't used gentoo on laptops in years - Arch is a good alternative; I use it for kernel testing almost exclusively now.
I don't have a notebook, but I'd probably try to use Arch and compile my own kernel for it.
 
Old 12-15-2008, 09:01 PM   #5
suicideducky
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Originally Posted by syg00 View Post
I haven't used gentoo on laptops in years - Arch is a good alternative; I use it for kernel testing almost exclusively now.
I don't have a notebook, but I'd probably try to use Arch and compile my own kernel for it.
I would never even DREAM of using genkernel for any of my systems.
Compiled all the way
 
Old 12-15-2008, 09:17 PM   #6
farslayer
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I have a 160 GB Hard Drive in my netbook so I actually installed Gnome, XFCE4, and LXDE. after some testing I set LXDE as the default. http://lxde.org/ Seems to run pretty well on the netbooks low resources.

If someone where setting up a Linux box for a Windows user the layout is just like windows with the location of the menu, the quicklaunch icons, the systray.. LXDE would be an interesting choice for someone oming over from Windows.
 
Old 12-15-2008, 10:12 PM   #7
elliott678
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I run Arch on my Asus Eee 901 on the 4gb SSD, the other 16GB SSD is for /home. It runs very nice, it helps that someone already maintains a custom kernel for it. Look up Robertek on the Arch boards, he made the kernel for the 901, you can probably take some pointers from that one for your kernel.

I use XFCE as a environment, I can't really say that I am really limited with this thing, I have a lot of stuff installed and still have about 1gb free on my 4gb SSD. I keep my Arch package cache on an external hard drive, I use it on all of my computers, to save time and bandwidth since a lot of my computers share the same packages.
 
Old 12-16-2008, 02:46 AM   #8
suicideducky
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Quote:
Originally Posted by farslayer View Post
I have a 160 GB Hard Drive in my netbook so I actually installed Gnome, XFCE4, and LXDE. after some testing I set LXDE as the default. http://lxde.org/ Seems to run pretty well on the netbooks low resources.
I have been hearing great things about LXDE over in Gentoo land, may I ask as to how the others performed? and what your specs are?
I am currently a XFCE user, but dont think it would work with a netbook, Im not sure why.

I am thinking possibly gnome with the panels on the side, well a gnome-light anyway, only the base not the extras and try to strip it down a bit. Just because it is well integrated and all fits together.

Another option would be either openbox or fluxbox and end up coming close to lxde, I would probably steal their panel as I have heard it is nice and supports transparency.

Thanks again, Ducky
 
Old 12-16-2008, 02:48 AM   #9
suicideducky
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elliott678 View Post
I run Arch on my Asus Eee 901 on the 4gb SSD, the other 16GB SSD is for /home. It runs very nice, it helps that someone already maintains a custom kernel for it. Look up Robertek on the Arch boards, he made the kernel for the 901, you can probably take some pointers from that one for your kernel.

I use XFCE as a environment, I can't really say that I am really limited with this thing, I have a lot of stuff installed and still have about 1gb free on my 4gb SSD. I keep my Arch package cache on an external hard drive, I use it on all of my computers, to save time and bandwidth since a lot of my computers share the same packages.
Thats very interesting actually thanks, I will look into finding Robertek a few pointers would definitly save a lot of wasted time trying to figure out why x piece of hardware is not working.

What is performance like with XFCE? I currently run it at home on my Toshiba TE2100 with a p4 2(ish)ghz machine and it is nice.

Thanks again, Ducky
 
Old 12-16-2008, 03:50 AM   #10
elliott678
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Performance is just like nearly any other XFCE install on a modern system, it runs very smoothly. I haven't really tweaked much and I'm not running it stripped down or anything, performance is good enough that my dual core Opteron desktop sits idle a lot of the time.

I have 2gb of RAM in mine, but for actual programs using it, I rarely go over 500mb, the rest is used by some tmpfs mounts for performance and disk cache.
 
Old 12-16-2008, 09:13 AM   #11
farslayer
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Specs on my sytstem are pretty much the same as yours.. 1 GB RAM, 1.6 Ghz Atom CPU,
The only difference between our netbooks is probably the Chip used for the Wireless (Atheros 5006/7), and I have a Hard drive rather than a SSD

As for performance, even gnome seemed to work just fine. (keeping in mind the system specs) but with the limited RAM on the system, Gnome tends to use a LOT more RAM than LXDE so that was what really made up my mind to go with LXDE rather than gnome. I wanted to leave that RAM free for the applications rather than waste it on a desktop that I can't even see once I launch an app..
(Same reason I think Vistas Aero interface is a bunch of hooey)

See this post for my LXDE vs Gnome memory usage
Just about 100 MB difference, and when you are dealing with 1 GB of RAM that's 10 % !!
 
  


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