Where can I download the version of Xandros used on the ASUS Eee PC 900?
January 2, 2010 1:19 PM   Subscribe

Where can I download the version of Xandros used on the ASUS Eee PC 900? If the answer is nowhere, what's a good alternative (free) OS for that computer?

I want to reinstall the original operating system of my Linux ASUS Eee PC 900, but I no longer have the materials that came with the computer that may have included it. Is it available to download somewhere?

If not, what's a good alternative? Ubuntu Netbook Remix didn't work very well -- very slow with the launcher GUI, and required messing with on each startup with the full desktop GUI.

Thanks for your help! Please let me know if you need more information to make suggestions.
posted by Mummy of a Lady Named Jemutesonekh to Computers & Internet (15 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
 
http://www.geteasypeasy.com/

I have this on my 901. It works better than the stock ASUS build. It was very easy to install with a USB drive.
posted by graftole at 1:42 PM on January 2, 2010


I have been using the ChromeOS builds on my 901... it works really well. (posting from it now, actually)
posted by icebourg at 1:44 PM on January 2, 2010


http://sourceforge.net/projects/eeecommunity/files/
posted by wongcorgi at 1:50 PM on January 2, 2010


Oh, cool wongcorgi. I forgot that one. Apparently, I even had it bookmarked from back when I was grabbing the SDK!
posted by graftole at 1:56 PM on January 2, 2010


You can find the EEE PC base OS software (which, though Xandro-based and -assisted, is actually more Asus' project) at SourceForge here.

Meanwhile: you mention not liking the Ubuntu Netbook Remix, saying the GUI ''required messing with on each startup." That's odd, because I've never had that problem; what exactly required messing with, if you don't mind my asking? The reason I mention it is that Ubuntu in general seems much more well-supported, and has a lot more options as far as applications go; their repository is the best in the business to date, so there's some reason to give it a real go.

If you just really didn't like the look and feel of the GUI, keep in mind that the version of Xandros packaged with the EEEs uses (I believe) the KDE desktop, one of the two most popular GUIs for Linux, whilst Ubuntu Netbook Remix uses Gnome, the other popular GUI. If what you liked was the KDE desktop, you could give Kubuntu, which is Ubuntu with the KDE GUI, a try. In fact, if I'm not mistaken, you can install the KDE desktop on a machine which is running Gnome, without having to reinstall the entire OS, if you want to - just type sudo apt-get install kubuntu-desktop in a terminal. (I don't know if you'd have room to do that on a netbook, though. Hmm.)

Personally, anyway, I've had more luck on low-memory machines with Xubuntu, which uses another GUI, the much simpler Xfce. I really like Xfce because it doesn't do all the silly things I don't really need it to - it's simple, direct, and to the point. But I'm not really one for bells and whistles, so YMMV/.

Anyhow, good luck.
posted by koeselitz at 2:01 PM on January 2, 2010


Thanks very much, everyone, for the links and suggestions so far!

W/r/t the ISOs at SourceForge -- sorry, I'm sure it's obvious, but what exactly do I do with those to install the OS? Do I have to burn them to a CD and then do something, or can I put them directly onto a USB drive and then plug that in and start up the Eee PC?

Meanwhile: you mention not liking the Ubuntu Netbook Remix, saying the GUI ''required messing with on each startup." That's odd, because I've never had that problem; what exactly required messing with, if you don't mind my asking?

Don't mind at all. Elements of the GUI, such as the menu bar, wouldn't load on startup; I would have to do something in the terminal (I forget exactly what now) to get the menubar to load, then switch to the launcher GUI, then switch back to the full desktop GUI to get everything there. Doubtless there was a better solution that would have been available to me if I knew more about Ubuntu. Could be that another version of Ubuntu would work without problems... do you have the 900, or a different model?
posted by Mummy of a Lady Named Jemutesonekh at 2:22 PM on January 2, 2010


The ISO has to be opened using software, then the files copied to a USB drive. Some of the programs require that a CD be used, and in that case the files can be copied from the CD to a USB device. You will need to hit a special key (F8 or F12 is common) when restarting the computer to have it boot from the USB.
posted by megatherium at 4:12 PM on January 2, 2010


http://www.geteasypeasy.com/

Is fantastic, I love it. I barely used my eee, now it's my 'lil companion
posted by mattoxic at 5:23 PM on January 2, 2010


Mummy of a Lady Named Jemutesonekh: “W/r/t the ISOs at SourceForge -- sorry, I'm sure it's obvious, but what exactly do I do with those to install the OS? Do I have to burn them to a CD and then do something, or can I put them directly onto a USB drive and then plug that in and start up the Eee PC?”

Uh oh - forget those EEE 900s didn't have CD or DVD drives.

Searching around and looking at various USB-install directions can make the process seem very involved, I know, but it's honestly not as crazy or difficult as it seems. I'll try to give a good, simple set of instructions for that here.

Here, do this:

It's pretty simple. Here's the basic process:

1. Install the bootloader-installer utility syslinux:

sudo apt-get install syslinux


2. Run it to install a bootloader on your USB key:

sudo syslinux /dev/usb [where /dev/usb is your USB's block file*]


3. Download, mount, and copy the contents of the EEE Community ISO to the USB:

sudo wget http://downloads.sourceforge.net/project/eeecommunity/EeePC%201.6/EeePC_1.6-2009-04-14_17-14.iso

sudo mkdir /mnt/iso && sudo mount -o loop EeePC_1.6-2009-04-14_17-14.iso /mnt/iso

sudo mkdir /mnt/usb && sudo mount /dev/usb /mnt/usb
[where /dev/usb is your USB's block file*]

sudo cp -r /mnt/iso/* /mnt/usb


4. Unmount stuff and clean up:

sudo umount /mnt/usb && sudo umount /mnt/iso
sudo rmdir /mnt/usb && sudo rmdir /mnt/iso
sudo rm EeePC_1.6-2009-04-14_17-14.iso


Now, your USB key should be a bootable installation drive for the EEE Community's distro of Xandros Linux.
___________________________________________________________
* If you don't know the block device path of your USB drive, just plug it in and mount it, and then run the command mount -l. That'll list all mounted drives, including your USB drive; then you can remember what specific device path you should use in the instructions above.
posted by koeselitz at 5:58 PM on January 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


“Elements of the GUI, such as the menu bar, wouldn't load on startup; I would have to do something in the terminal (I forget exactly what now) to get the menubar to load, then switch to the launcher GUI, then switch back to the full desktop GUI to get everything there. Doubtless there was a better solution that would have been available to me if I knew more about Ubuntu. Could be that another version of Ubuntu would work without problems... do you have the 900, or a different model?”

Heh - well, I don't have an EEE, though I've fooled around with my friend's 901 a little bit. Actually, right now I'm running Xubuntu on a circa-2004 Dell Inspiron 1000 with 256m RAM and a 2.2 ghz Celeron in it; it seems like that's an old enough machine to approximate the low-memory netbook thingies, although I admit it's very different and is a sort of wonky setup.

Anyhow, it looks like this guy had the same problem, and that it was listed as a bug here about nine months ago. How long ago did you try Remix? They released a new version of Karmic a month ago, so you may find it works much better now; who knows. Anyhow, the fellow there reports that regular Ubuntu worked much better than Remix for him. That might be an option. Of course, I'm a die-hard Xubuntu fan, so I'll always recommend that, since its requirements are very low. But maybe you should just try the Xandros reinstall for now - doesn't sound too bad, and uses RPM and APM, which means it'll have a good number of software packages & theoretically you can expand the listed set if you want to.
posted by koeselitz at 6:03 PM on January 2, 2010


This was the guy who had the problem. Guess it was a kernel bug involved with the Intel Atom processor. A couple fixes were posted, so it probably got at least improved in the recent Karmic release.
posted by koeselitz at 6:04 PM on January 2, 2010


[My instructions above assume you're setting up a bootable USB from within Linux. If you're doing it from Windows XP or Vista, here are some easy and helpful instructions you can follow.]
posted by koeselitz at 6:07 PM on January 2, 2010


Thirding easypeasy. Install also works off an SD card (don't know if your eee model has a slot).
posted by rikschell at 6:46 PM on January 2, 2010


Wow, koeselitz, thanks for all that! I think I'll just try the Xandros reinstall for now, but after I know I can get that working, I might play with the other options you detail. Thanks again!
posted by Mummy of a Lady Named Jemutesonekh at 7:13 PM on January 2, 2010


You're welcome. (And I've never tried easy-peasy - maybe it's good, I don't know - just figured it'd be good to go over making a USB drive bootable, since it's important, and there aren't enough simple, direct sets of instructions out there.)
posted by koeselitz at 9:41 PM on January 2, 2010


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