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Hi. I just got my Eee PC today. I have some questions regarding it...
It's got 4gb of hard drive space (it's a 906 if that means anything?), but 3gb are "utilised" by Xandros. Exactly how it's using what is unknown to me; I'm unfamiliar with it and barely just found out how to get the command line displayed. The OS really reminds me of an idiot-friendly thing that tries its best to prevent you from customising it... So my question is: would it be better to install another flavour of Linux, preferably Ubuntu since I have a teeny bit of experience with it? I cannot seem to figure out how to uninstall any of the programs (most I won't use), Pidgin doesn't want to update (I have a Yahoo account which apparently has been fubar'd in the Pidgin version that came with the computer), and I cannot update to Firefox 3.5. So basically, I bought it to connect to the internet and the browser isn't up-to-date, to connect with friends and Pidgin isn't up-to-date, and to store a few videos on to watch on the plane and the hard drive only has 1/4th of the originally advertised space.
Unfortunately, I have a limited amount of resources to attempt an OS installation. I have a 500gb hard drive (the hubby's) with at least 50gb free. I have a Creative Stone that has 2gb and acts like a usb drive. (I assume that it will function as a memory stick, but I'm thinking that I cannot format it or it won't play music properly.) I have a 256mb usb memory stick. And, I have a 1gb sd card. I have no external cd/dvd drive, and I cannot format the husband's hard drive (both he and I are leery of partitioning).
With all that said and my limited resources, is it even possible to install another OS? And if so, which would be the best option, and how would I go about it?
Another note: I am open to try new OS's, as long as it works on an Eee PC, I can still connect to the internet and have a decent browser (well, anything but IE), connect with friends, and have enough space to store some .avi files.
You should think twice before installing other operating systems (including easypeasy/other ubuntu netbook variants which seem to be the best options for an easy go), because
- their hardware support is no better, usually just worse, than that of the official Xandros version, and most Eee-compatible distributions use ugly hacks to get things like hotkeys work
- with some distributions you have to make sure yourself that you disable everything that makes unnecessary writes to the internal flash memory (less wear that way)
- Pidgin just got an update, and I recall the issue you mentioned was fixed in it
- you can probably install Firefox 3.5 manually on the Xandros if you don't like 3.0.4
- you can buy an external memory card to store extra software or just use apt-get to manage your software just like you'd do in Ubuntu
- you can switch, in the official Xandros version on board, the "easy" desktop (icewm) to a normal KDE desktop if you want; I personally prefer the "dummy" version because it's clean, quick and suits the small screen well, and because The Rest (a terminal) is just a key combination away
If you insist on changing, easypeasy might be your best bet. A 1GB memory stick should do fine, all you (may) need to do is push the button to select boot device when BIOS comes up. The system usually does some sort of "quick boot" and you might not see the regular screen and message about the boot menu button, but if you power off the thing by holding power button for a few seconds and then restart, you should get there. By the way, if you were advertised that the machine has just one 4GB card and that it has as much free space, you were lied to At least here they do advertise that the machines have for example 20GB (Linux version) of storage, of which 4GB (apparently the faster card) is reserved to the system and rest (on another card) for user files. Not that the Xandros takes up all the 4GB, but at least they're not saying that the OS fits into 0kb..
Heh, no they didn't advertise how much space the OS took up. I got the book on woot.com, and well, it was more like "hey, a netbook for cheap!"
Can you inform me how to switch to the "other" desktop? Maybe that'll help me feel less like it's trying to babysit me...
I still haven't figured how to update Pidgin. I know the update fixes the problem... but I am a noob, especially when it comes to anything Linux outside of Ubuntu (and even then, I'm not that bright). As for the promise of an extra 2gb, it'll be a lifesaver until I get the larger storage. As it is, I can fit 3 45-minute tv episodes or one full-length movie on it... and that's squishing things. Hardware isn't an issue... yet. I suppose if I install a new OS and things stop working, then I would be up a creek.
I don't insist on changing, but I'm not at all familiar with Xandros except for the four hours it has frustrated me tonight. It came with a handy recovery DVD, although I find it cruel without an accompanying dvd drive with which I figured I could "fix" anything I'd break. I intend on getting it an external hard drive and dvd player, but it was shipped about 3 weeks later than anticipated, and I'm flying back to the States this weekend. As a result, I was wanting to have it in a form that could play some videos on the plane ride over, and then I could get the externals while state side (for much cheaper, I may add).
I'll hold off (although I have my flash drive being prepared with Ubuntu) until I can check out the other desktop version.
bouncer the problem with xandros is it is based on debian etch which is ancient and it uses unionfs that takes up a ton of space. With a normal debian install everything works perfectly. DebianEeePC - Debian Wiki
My 701 was a yr old in feb and still works prefectly. Plus it boots to lxde in 20 seconds.
Update: I'm pressed for time, and unfortunately after two hours of searching forums/websites, I could not get x windows (is it still called that?) past a grey screen with the top left quarter the "command prompt" box with Debian. The wireless and video and everything *seemed* to work fine when I'd hit the fn+FX keys, but since all I had was a grey screen with the command lines, I didn't really have much to judge it by.
So I used unetbootin and installed Ubuntu 9.04. I also went out and bought 2gb of ram and a 250gb hard drive, so hopefully this third distro will be the last for the Eee. Had an issue with the wireless, but I just used the driver it recommended "only if your WLAN doesn't work" and that fixed everything. I've got to say, that program is awesome!
I think that since Ubuntu's running fine (aside from the brief snafu with the WLAN, and then the discovery that I had to install a Java package, when it came default on Xandros) I'm going to quit taxing the internal SD storage. But when I'm back home after the vacation, I might start partitioning the new USB storage drive I bought and try to see if I can't get Debian up on it with some sort of gui... or at least with enough knowledge to know what the crap I'm doing.
Thanks for the ideas and advice. I'll probably be back to resurrect this in about a month!
I hesitate but (and I know you probably don't want to abandon something you have paid for) Debian 5 comes loaded with the where with all to play this and that in it's full form. If the bios allows install from a pen drive, be it minimal and build from there. If Ubuntu can be installed from the net then, perhaps, so can Debian 5. Thought about external caddies for laptop hard dives for cheap extended memory.
My debian install on my 701 which also only has a 4GB ssd only takes up 1.6GB and works perfectly.
OK, I have the img.iso and the unetbootin in My documents.
''Install and Run
To install UNetbootin on ubuntu, simply double click on the file you downloaded and click "Install Package". The prerequisites will automatically be downloaded for you.''
OK, I double click on it and I get an ''Open'' dialog box. One option is ''Run in console'' I check it and hit enter. Nothing happens. I go back to the file and right click to bring up a menu. I select ''Run as administrator'' and hit enter. Nothing happens. I open a terminal and type in ''run unetbootin...'' I get ''bash no such command''
Never overestimate a newbie! I decided to go with Debian, and spent hours yesterday trying to prepare an SD card, getting nowhere even with the help of my son in law the professional programer over the phone.
Today I pulled the ''SD card'' out that came in the EeePC. Duh, it doesn't have any contacts on it. It is just a chunk of plastic shaped like a card with SD on it.
OK, I bought a real SD card. Only took minutes to load debian-eeepc.img to it. I bring up the boot device selector and choose USB and hit enter. The screen went gray and a flashing cursor. That was 5 hours ago and still doing it?