After a bit of feeling around the native grounds of my Asus EEE 900a and learning it’s twitches and giggles, I figured it’s time to hone things to my twisted little mind.
Once I’ve played with the stock 4gb SSD drive, I upgraded to the available 64gb SSD drive to give me more breathing room. (along with being able to do more than “be a good consumer” with a computer) ahhhh leg room…
So, with the given space I’ve taken the time to test many distributions of Linux which are geared towards the EEE. I don’t really believe I’m done, but I’ve found a good working EEEBuntu (standard). Below are my findings:
Debian-eee – Debian on the EEE seemed kind of slow in comparison to the from-the-factory Xandros/eee Linux. While it did feel good to have debian at my hands, I’m not going to be using the netbook as anything resembling a server, which took alot of my use of Debian away. The desktop felt sluggish, and just existing felt like a slight struggle because you had to really work to get mundane things like wifi up and rolling. (I did keep it around on a spare USB and used it as a boot with net to reflash the drive with an old image with every distribution run, though)
eeexubuntu – It’s a good option, but looks VERY bland. Now, that’s fine for me but I wanted to throw that out there since most everyone hears the name Ubuntu and thinkss spinning dogs on exercise balls juggling… the major downfall for me was that there was quite a bit of drive access going on for what was actually going on.. (‘top’ show odd proceses, and ‘ps -aux’ showed nothing either.) I did have problems getting wifi up and rolling but I knew how to operate the wifi through command line anyway. Would have been a deal breaker for even an intermediate user.
Puppeee – Didn’t really offer alot to me, it was simply geared towards being minimalistic with no added bonus other than lack of drive use. Nothing was on the interface to be EEE specific, either.
Fedora 10 (live) – Since ‘eeedora’ as pretty much closed and sucked into the Fedora distribution, Fedora worked very nicely and utilized the EEE hardware well. It really felt like i was on a destop… though battery usage was pretty tight. I did not do any eee-control import (eee-control is a third-party tool available to modify performance scaling, fan speed, etc).
EEEBuntu – It draws you in if your looking for something that works very much like Windows, but without the dreaded worry of a corporate breath changing your life. (though, canonical is a corpoation…) This distribution comes in 3 different variations depending on what you are looking for. The versions are as follows:
EEEBuntu Standard – comes with office and internet based software by default. It comes by default with a compriz graphics for the destop which gives enhanced looks. You an also go into the settings and set up the high-graphics enhancements which add Vista style management. It’s doable, but not my thing for more than a minute of “oh wow, okay cool.”. After that, it’s a waste.
EEEBuntu NBR – Pretty much the same as the Standard, but has a great beginner<level tool that covers the desktop with a desktop that resembles the stock “easy mode” interface that comes with the Xandros Linus from Asus. It really makes it eqsy to hand the computer to your child/grandmother/microsoft-customer and they’d be able to use it without any issues other than grumbling how it doesn’t look like toast. (or something else random and left field as a final complaint)
EEEbuntu Base – This is bare bones EEEBuntu… just enough to be like the Standard version, but no office utilities or any other the other fluff. Also, none of the compriz graphical enhancements. all of this lessens the amount of drive space used, and lessens ram usage. Of course, after the installation you can easily install the utilities you will use, including the office utilties if you wish… It’s just the installation that is different.
Out of all of these distributions, I’ve so far stuck with Ubuntu Standard for the battery length, along with the ease of everything “just being there”… considering it was made for this machine.
The next things I’ll be using more than likely is Gentoo, and FreeBSD. I’ve used Gentoo for years during it’s first invention and have migrated away during the phase of instability 3-4 years ago. FreeBSD should just be a struggle wth my mind since I’ve never been a user of any of the BSD Unix styles… I’d sooner use Solaris… which will probably be right after FreeBSD, ironically hah