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Asus Eee PC Linux Ubuntu

Ubuntu 9.04 (Jaunty Jackalope) Beta First Impressions

As far as I can tell, jackalopes aren’t even real animals. I still remember the first time I got a jackalope postcard over ten years ago. Well, the Ubuntu folks have decided to name the next Ubuntu Linux release Jaunty Jackalope. I’ve used every single Ubuntu release since its second one (Hoary Hedgehog). That would be 5.04, 5.10, 6.06, 6.10, 7.04, 7.10, 8.04, and 8.10. Eight releases. And I can honestly say that Ubuntu 9.04 is the smoothest, most polished release I have ever seen from Ubuntu.

I installed Ubuntu 9.04 beta (yes, it is beta, so it not guaranteed to be bug-free) on my Eee PC 701 (which, only a year after I’ve purchased it, already feels like a netbook dinosaur), and I have only one complaint (which I’ve filed a bug report on).

At first glance, it looks pretty much like any of the recent releases, but some nice little touches are in there:

  • Boot up time and general responsiveness are significantly increased, even with still the Ext3 filesystem (I don’t want to risk Ext4 at this point).
  • When the package manager is interrupted, you’re told to use the command sudo dpkg –configure -a to fix it (instead of the incorrect previously given command dpkg –configure -a
  • Hotkeys, sound, touchpad tapping, and wireless all work out of the box with the Eee PC. No tweaking or special kernels necessary.
  • Time zone selection during installation actually is by time zone and not by city.
  • More themes are included.

I can’t think of anything else off the top of my head, but it just feels good. I wanted to file as many bugs as I could before final release. I could find only one bug to file so far, though.

Good job, Ubuntu folks!

Categories
Asus Eee PC Linux Ubuntu

Ubuntu Eee 8.04.1 – I’m impressed!

If you’ve been following my blog at all the past year, you know I’ve been obsessed with finding the right Linux distro for my Eee PC. It came with an Asus-customized version of Xandros that works perfectly with the hardware but suffers in many ways on the software and user-interface side. I’ve since tried vanilla Ubuntu, eeeXubuntu, Mandriva, Debian, Puppeee, and various other distros that are supposed to be good for the Eee PC.

It’s been a tough search to find a good combination of usable and compatible. I just want something that will let me use all the hardware on the Eee and more or less let me use Ubuntu and its repositories. Why is that so difficult to find? Well, I think I may have found the holy grail of the Eee PC—Ubuntu Eee. Yes, I’d heard about it for a while now but never gave it a try, because I’d had a disappointing experience with eeeXubuntu. I’m very impressed with Ubuntu Eee, though, despite running into a few problems that were easily fixed.

Here were the problems I ran into:

  • The netbook remix it came with wouldn’t let me quit. I’d click the Quit button, and it’d look as if it were going to fire up the logout dialogue, but nothing would come up. And the way the netbook remix Gnome panel is set up, it was impossible for me to add anything to the panel (like the logout applet). So to shut down the computer, I had to use a virtual terminal and the sudo shutdown -h now command.
  • The netbook remix interface was also extremely unresponsive. I think it was designed with the Intel Atom processor in mind and not my poor little Eee PC 701’s Intel Celeron processor. So one of the first things I did was remove the remix and automaximize applications through Synaptic.
  • Wireless, as the Ubuntu Eee website indicates, is a little buggy with MadWifi on the 701 (and I’ve experienced this with other distros too), so I blacklisted the Atheros modules and installed and used ndisgtk, and that problem was solved.
  • There was a minor volume applet adjustment I had to make to get the front microphone working.
  • Ubuntu Eee comes with a lot of stuff installed by default (normal Ubuntu stuff and then a lot extra), so I spent a good hour in Synaptic Package Manager trimming out the fat.

The webcam, microphone, hotkeys, and sound all work great. They even have the little on-screen displays from Xandros when you press the hotkeys. I do get some weird message about the scanner group being unknown when I boot up, but the boot time isn’t too bad (still not as speedy as Xandros, of course). I think I’ll be sticking with Ubuntu Eee for a while. And now that it’s based on the 8.04.1 release of Ubuntu, I know it’ll be supported for the next two and a half years also.

P.S. There is one minor annoyance, which seems to pop up every now and then with Ubuntu releases. In Gnome, the volume manager will automatically mount my Lacie external drive’s FAT32 partition but not the Ext3 partition. With Thunar’s volume manager, neither will mount automatically. When the automatic mounting doesn’t happen, I get some message about not being able to mount the partitions since I’m not the superuser. So I’m mounting them from the command-line right now. I don’t mind doing that, so I’m on the whole pleased with Ubuntu Eee, but it’d be great if there were an easy fix for it.

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Asus Eee PC Linux

What’s so bad about the Eee PC Xandros anyway?

Since I’m a regular on the Ubuntu Forums and, like some other forum members, I have an Asus Eee PC and decided to install Ubuntu on it, I do every so often get asked the question, “What is so bad about the Eee PC Xandros anyway?” I recently did a reinstall of Xandros, so after playing around with Xandros for a while again, it’s fresh enough in my mind that I can talk more specifically about the pros and cons of Xandros.

Xandros Pros

  • Hardware support. Yes, many distros have come pretty close to full hardware support or there exist some tweaks to get everything working, but Asus customized Xandros to work exactly with the hardware in the Eee.
  • Fast boot time. Likewise, there are some hacks to make Ubuntu or other distros boot a little more quickly (maybe 45 seconds instead of 90 seconds), but Xandros boots in 12-30 seconds, and that just can’t be beat. I understand some people have done some experimental fast-booting projects for other distros, but all of them have huge disclaimers about them being experimental for a reason.

Unfortunately, that’s about it. I can think of absolutely no other advantages to Xandros over other Linux distributions.

Xandros Cons

  • Annoying simple mode. At first glance, simple mode (the one with the tabs and huge icons) looks good or at least easy to use for beginners. It’s not a well-thought-out interface, however. The difference between Network and Wireless Networks isn’t readily apparent (Network is for frequently used connections you want remembered; Wireless Networks is for ad hoc connections). There’s also no easy way to make the Favorites tab the default, which would make the most sense. If my most-used applications are on two separate tabs, that’s kind of annoying. And if I have to click to a separate tab every time I want to see my favorites, that’s also annoying.
  • Too much QT dependence. If you’re a Gnome fan or generally favor GTK applications, there’s only so much you can strip down the KDE libraries and QT dependencies in the Eee Xandros. The essential-to-functionality programs all depend on KDM and KDE libraries. I don’t have a huge problem with mixing QT and GTK, but when my hard drive is only 4 GB, having double the libraries takes up almost double the space.
  • Limited repositories. When you load up Xandros, you’ll notice that the software available for installation is pretty much what comes on the Eee PC by default and little else. And some of the software updates actually take away functionality (for example, the update to the usb storage applet makes it so you can’t turn off the device dialog when you plug in a USB device). It is possible to add repositories, but there aren’t extensive repositories that can be used without adding potential conflicts. There are some small community-maintained repositories you can add. Or you can add Debian ones and make sure to pin versions of applications so that the Debian versions don’t replace the Xandros versions.
  • Mounting like Windows. When you plug in a USB device, instead of appearing as a normal drive name, you get all the weird D:\ and E:\ stuff as you would in Windows.
  • You can’t add a password to sudo. I’ve done extensive research on this at the Eee User Forums, and no one has successfully been able to add a password to sudo, so for almost all intents and purposes, you are running as root all the time. I can understand if this were only the default, but if you edit the /etc/sudoers file so as to require a password for sudo commands, you render the Eee unbootable.
  • No Quicktime. Yes, it’s great that Xandros comes with MP3 playback and Flash installed by default. But you’d think they would also give you the codecs you need to play Apple Trailers. No dice. The workaround is that you add Debian repositories and force and lock a downgrade to the slightly older version of MPlayer that apparently has the proper codecs.
  • Old versions of software. People often complain about Ubuntu updating its software versions only every six months with a new release. Xandros doesn’t do even that. There are some really old versions of applications that I don’t think have been updated since last year.
  • The username is always user. So in a regular distro if you say your full name is Carol J. Clover, the distro will make your username carol, as would make sense. In Xandros, no matter what your full name is, you’ll always be called user and your home directory will always be /home/user.

I think that pretty much sums it up. So the next time someone asks what’s so bad about Xandros, I’ll just point them to this blog post.

Categories
Computers Linux Ubuntu

Ubuntu 8.10 (Intrepid Ibex) on the Eee PC 701

I did it. I wiped Mandriva clean off my computer, backed up my important files, and installed Ubuntu 8.10 beta on my Eee PC, and so far the experience has been wonderful. There were a few bumps along the way, of course:

Other than that, it has worked a dream. I’m very happy with Intrepid on the Eee. I did one update and left it at that (if I did daily updates, I’m sure one of them would break things, and as the Eee is my main computer, I can’t afford to have that happen).

To anyone who says I should file bug reports on this stuff while Intrepid is still in beta, bug reports have already been filed on all of these, so the developers are quite aware of these problems. I don’t know if they’re a top priority to be fixed or not, though.

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Asus Eee PC Linux Ubuntu

Should I trade my Eee PC 701 for a Dell Inspiron 901

I saw Leaked: Dell Inspiron 910 (Mini Note) Specs and Release Date today and I’m intrigued, but I’m not excited yet.

I tend to be pretty cautious about computer purchases. I’ve heard rumors that the base model is supposed to be US$299, but I’m not sure what specs that’ll be. By the time you jack up the specs to be something reasonable, it may be over US$600, which I’m not willing to shell out.

I also find it odd that a couple of months ago, Dell hinted at the netbooks being announced in August. It’s almost the end of August now and it’s still just “leaked… specs” a few days before the supposed release date (August 22). If Dell is releasing the netbooks on August 22, shouldn’t they have released the full specs and pricing (not just “leads” and speculation) a lot earlier?

Well, I’m curious to see how this all turns out. I love my Eee, but I don’t love its Ubuntu-unfriendliness (I don’t think I can go back to Xandros at this point). If the Dell Inspiron 901s are priced reasonably, get good reviews, and come preinstalled with a Ubuntu version that boots up within seconds, then I may just regift my Eee to a friend who doesn’t mind Xandros and who also travels a lot.

Bring it on, Dell! Let’s see what you got.

Categories
Linux Ubuntu

Explaining Linux lingo to non-Linux users

The other day, I was trying to explain to my wife why I wanted to install Ubuntu on my Eee PC in place of Xandros. She is not tech-stupid. She’s quite tech-savvy actually. She just isn’t that Linux-savvy. I found myself spewing out a whole bunch of words I knew she wouldn’t understand. Why would any normal person know what a distro or a repository is? What’s a kernel? What’s sudo? Well, the sudo thing she got, because she’s a Mac user and has used OS X’s terminal before.

Explaining the switch to someone who isn’t Linux-savvy forced me to think about what’s important to me as a computer user and to realize that I’m a little geekier than I thought I was. Sure, I’m no programmer. I’m not a system administrator or even help desk (except as a volunteer on the Ubuntu Forums). But here I was with Xandros, a Linux version customized to work flawlessly with the Eee PC, and I was ditching it. The boot time on Xandros is about 24 seconds from the time I press the power button to having a usable desktop with a wirelessly-connected Firefox session.

That’s not enough for me. Apparently, I also want security. The fact that you cannot have sudo in Xandros prompt you for a password without rendering your system unbootable makes Xandros, as my wife puts it, “no better than Windows.” For almost all intents and purposes, you are running as root (the total administrative with all privileges). There are software packages you can’t remove without removing essential components, and you can’t even get Xandros to not have a “What do you want to do?” prompt every time you plug in a USB device.

Most importantly, though, Xandros’ software repositories are weak. There are workarounds, but they are all flawed – mixing and matching various repositories, keeping multiple versions of the same libraries, pinning sources. It’s too convoluted and risky. I had to explain to my wife the idea of a software repository as different from Windows and Mac. In Windows and Mac, if you want to install software, you launch your web browser and search for a program, download it, and install it. In Linux, there are software repositories that have collections of software and software package managers that take a look at what’s in the repositories and download and install whatever you want from what’s available. It’s a bit like online shopping… “like Amazon,” I said. The package manager checks what’s in stock, you put things in your shopping cart, and then you check out, and the package manager installs things for you. “Installing software in Ubuntu is like shopping on Amazon, where you can get just about anything, and installing software in Xandros is like….” I was trying to figure out how to bring Xandros into the picture here, when she stepped in, “shopping at 7-11?” Yes, that was it exactly.

In Ubuntu, you just need to click a few times to add several vast repositories of software with lots available and very few conflicting packages. In Xandros, you have to use limited user-maintained extra repositories or mix and match with Debian repositories (which are only partially compatible with Xandros), and then you sometimes have to force the package manager to install an older version of MPlayer to get certain functionality or manually “install” a newer GTK library to install the latest version of Firefox.

Don’t get me wrong, Asus has created a wonderful internet appliance with the Xandros Eee PC, but I think an internet appliance-like Linux operating system can also be created that allows people to easily tweak it without worrying about breaking things. Ubuntu gives me that freedom, and that’s why I’m using eeeXubuntu on my Eee PC… even if it does take me 56 seconds to boot.

Categories
Asus Eee PC Computers

Technology ideas I thought were stupid… until I tried them

I have consumer’s arrogance. I’ll admit it.

While innovators, inventors, businesspeople, and artists are busy working to make money (and art, too, if they’re lucky), I’m comfortably sitting back, relaxing, and critiquing them from my little soapbox of a blog. It’s easy once something has tanked to balk at it, “What were they thinking?”

Sometimes they weren’t. Sometimes they had a good idea in theory, but in practice it was terrible. Sometimes it just didn’t get implemented properly, or it worked for test groups but not consumers at large.

Well, sometimes… sometimes, it actually works!

Here are three products I balked at wrongly. I thought they were stupid until I realized they were brilliant.

  • The iPod’s Scroll Wheel. Yes, I understood the appeal of the iPod. Yes, I knew Apple made slick-looking products. But the scroll wheel baffled me. I thought about the CD players of old. Wouldn’t I just want to click to the next song right or left? Why would I want to go in a circle? Apple knew, though. They knew that people either already had or would soon amass music collections with songs numbering in the thousands, and scrolling through thousands of songs without a scroll wheel is tiring for your fingers. Even though I’ve long since grown disillusioned with iPods and iTunes (I use Sandisk players with Linux now), I do miss the scroll wheel and appreciate it for the brilliant invention it was.
  • The Wii. When I first heard about the Wii, I thought Nintendo was crazy. The name sounded stupid, like a kid peeing. The system’s graphics weren’t in the same class as the PS3. You used the remote to make motions with? What is this—Tron? Well, apparently it is. Gamers and non-gamers, children and adults alike love the Wii. I’m not much of a gamer myself, but I enjoy the Wii, too. It’s like a video game console for non-video-game-players. I even know someone who claims that Wii bowling practice leads to better real-life bowling performance. Not sure about that, but if it’s true, then cool!
  • The Eee PC. Okay. It has a 4 GB hard drive, a crappy webcam, no optical drive, 800×480 screen resolution, a child-size keyboard, and only a 3-hour battery life? Why do I want that? I guess it’s at least cheaper than the Macbook Air by US$1400. If someone had pitched that to me, I would have said, “You must be on crack!” But the Eee PC has been selling quite well for Asus, spawning competition from HP, Acer, Dell, and others, and keeping Asus itself on its toes with a new release with better specs. It’s gotten rave reviews, too. I was intrigued by this little giant and read literally hundreds of reviews before taking the dive and buying one myself, and it’s lived up to the hype even though it isn’t perfect. Asus just realized that these days most of what people use computers for is the internet, and that’s all the Eee really is, an internet appliance that can do a few other cool things, too.

So, hats off to you CEOs who, on rare occasion, know better than I do what will be successful or a good idea.

Categories
Asus Eee PC

Should you keep unionfs on your Eee PC?

Introduction
When I announced to the other Ubuntu Forums staff members I was getting an Eee PC and planning to stick with Xandros (as opposed to installing Ubuntu on it), one of the first pieces of advice I got was to remove unionfs from the Eee to free up space.

What’s the deal with unionfs anyway?
Just a quick primer on unionfs (as well as I can understand it): one of the great features the Eee has is the ability to restore factory settings with the press of a couple of buttons at bootup (tap F9 quickly and then select the restore option from the menu). One person made a YouTube video of the process and clocked the restore at two minutes. I did the restore myself and it took about ten seconds (not kidding).

This works because the Eee has two major hard drive partitions (and two random smaller partitions at the end—I don’t know what those are for). The first is mounted at boot as read-only and contains the factory settings. The second is mounted as read-write and is the user partition you modify after you start using the Eee. While having those two partitions makes restoring (in case you mess up something) easy and quick, it also sucks up a lot of hard drive space on a drive that is already pretty small (4 GB on the 701 version).

My experience with unionfs and reasons for removing it
Even though the advice I got turned out to be good advice, at first I was hesitant to remove unionfs for two reasons:

  1. I knew I’d be tweaking Xandros a lot and wanted an easy way to restore the default installation in case I messed things up.
  2. I didn’t have an external DVD-ROM drive to use for the restore DVD that came with the Eee, and I was intimidated by the tutorials about making USBs into bootable live “CDs.”

Well, after a lot of tweaks, I did manage to mess up the Eee badly enough that I could fix it by undoing all the tweaks, but I was glad to have the option to quickly restore it. And, more importantly—too cheap to buy an external DVD-ROM drive—I rolled up my sleeves and actually followed a tutorial on making a USB device into a live “CD.” It wasn’t as difficult as I thought it would be.

So, with the ability to back up my installation (I used the dd command to back up the entire Eee PC hard drive to a .img file on an external hard drive), I had fewer qualms about removing unionfs. I also realized through regular use with unionfs that a little less than 2 GB is not a lot to work with after you have applications installed. I don’t want to store my entire music and photo collections on the Eee, but I’d like to have some selection available there.

The removal process
Emboldened by how much easier the make-a-USB-live-“CD” process was, I went ahead and tried the Removing UnionFS/aufs tutorial on the EeeUser Wiki, and the process could have been a lot smoother. I basically ended up following the instructions, messing everything up, and then having to restore my Xandros .img with dd and then redo the instructions again.

If you’re planning to follow the instructions, here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • You do not need to enable (i.e., add as a permanent boot option) single-user mode or recovery mode on the Eee, but it’s probably a good idea to know how to make it available for one-time use.
  • If you have an easy way to back up the Eee (the dd command, for example, or an external DVD-ROM drive with the Eee PC DVD), you can simplify the process by using a live CD (or live “CD” USB stick) to make all the changes to /dev/sda1. You should be familiar with mounting partitions, but it’ll save you the trouble of going into recovery mode and using vi and all that. You also won’t have to constantly reboot and test things (again, you should have backed everything up first; otherwise, testing is a good thing).
  • There are instructions in the middle of the page about growing the /dev/sda1 partition using GParted, but then there is a warning at the bottom of the page about how using GParted won’t work and how you should use fdisk and some other command-line options instead to merge partitions. Please heed this bottom-of-the-page warning. I tried to grow the /dev/sda1 partition in GParted to fill the space and got an error message and the /dev/sda1 partition then appeared to fill all 3.7 GB but was also almost completely full. When I rebooted into Xandros, the drive was reported as being only 2 GB large and almost full. If you want the non-unionfs-ed partition to fill the whole drive, follow the instructions about using the command-line to do it.
  • The other thing I learned is that the commands given seem counterintuitive to the uninitiated. To expand the first partition to fill the space, they actually have you delete all the partitions and then create a new partition. My intuition was telling me, “Hey, this is wrong! I don’t want to delete the partition. I just want to expand it.” But if you follow the instructions and delete all the partitions and recreate a new one, it actually has the same effect as expanding the first partition. Don’t ask me how that works, but it does. You backed everything up anyway, right? There should be nothing to lose.

Conclusion
My advice to owners of any Eee PC that has a 4 GB hard drive or smaller is to find a way to back up and/or restore your Xandros installation and then get rid of unionfs as quickly as possible in order to reclaim hard drive space. The quick restore tool is fun and amazing, but it takes up too much space. I’m so glad I now have 1.8 GB of free space on my Eee instead of 400 MB.

Categories
Asus Eee PC

Back to Xandros with tail between my legs

Well, my enthusiasm for Ubuntu was a bit hasty, I guess. Everything was good for a while, but then I saw the extent to which things weren’t working. I though the microphone and video in Skype were working, but they weren’t, and the boot time was just too long (and suspend didn’t work). Worse yet, the sound controls are not integrated. The volume applet and the volume controlled by the keys defined in System > Preferences > Keyboard Shortcuts didn’t control the actual master volume. The whole experience of getting things to work was too frustrating, so I’m very happy I had imaged Xandros and put Xandros back on for now.

Eventually, if I get restless again, I’ll probably try out eeeXubuntu 7.10, or I may wait until Ubuntu 8.10 (Intrepid Ibex) to see if the Ubuntu developers have worked to make an Eee-friendlier release; I realize it’s tough for them since Asus uses some proprietary components.

Well, it was worth a shot, and I may shoot again, too.

Categories
Asus Eee PC Linux Ubuntu

Ubuntu 8.04 (Hardy Heron) on the Eee PC

Geek Warning: If you don’t use Linux or Ubuntu, a lot of this will sound like gobbledygook.

As much as possible, I wanted to give the Asus Eee PC’s default operating system (a tweaked Xandros Linux) a chance. If I were another user (my mom, for example), it would be sufficient—good even. And that’s how Asus wanted it. The simple interface is meant to be like a kiosk or appliance.

So I gave the simple interface a God’s honest try for a little less than a week and already started tweaking it. I took away simple mode. I changed the IceWM theme, replaced Konqueror with Thunar, added in various keyboard shortcuts. I used Xandros for almost a month and then got fed up with it. The fact of the matter is that it works well for what it is, an internet appliance. I want more than that, though. I got frustrated with the fact that FAT32 was read-only in Konqueror but read/write in the terminal (I tried just about everything—believe me), and I didn’t like how you can’t get sudo to require a password (no, editing the /etc/sudoers file doesn’t help).

Despite reported problems with Ubuntu on the Eee, I decided to take the plunge yesterday. Bottom line: Ubuntu itself is smooth, but the documentation for it is rocky. First of all, for Ubuntu 8.04 specifically on the Eee (as opposed to Ubuntu 7.10), the documentation is scant. But even some of that is out of date. Here are the three main pages I was able to find on Ubuntu for the Eee:
The EeeUser Wiki
The Ubuntu WIki
The Ubuntu Eee Website.

If you’re planning to install Ubuntu 8.04 on your Eee, I would say take those pages with a whole shaker of salt. If you believe those pages, on a default installation, the screen resolution will be off, your computer won’t shut down, you have to do something special to get rid of the battery warning, you have to unplug the battery to get ethernet working, volume hotkeys work, madwifi is the best way to get wireless working, and certain config file tweaks will get boot time faster.

None of that is true. Here’s what really happened.

First of all, lacking an external CD-ROM drive and not really wanting to buy one, I sucked it up and followed these instructions for installing Ubuntu to a USB stick. My choices for “USB stick” were a bit limiting. First, I tried to do it with a partition on my external hard drive, and that didn’t work, for some reason. Next, I tried to do it on an actual USB stick, but then I realized it was only 512 MB (not enough to fit Ubuntu on). So finally, I tried my 2 GB Sansa Clip—which worked out perfectly. Under ordinary circumstances, the invincible/invisible Sandisk firmware would be annoying, but its invincibility in this case is great. Once I copied Ubuntu’s Desktop CD to my Sansa Clip, I was still able to listen to music and all my settings and favorite radio stations were preserved—so now I have Ubuntu live “CD” that also doubles as a portable music player. So I used my Sansa Clip to boot into a live Ubuntu session on the Eee and backed up my Xandros Eee to an external hard drive using the dd command (sudo dd if=/dev/sda of=/media/disk/eeexandros.img), and I installed Ubuntu.

First of all, I was amazed at how much stuff worked right away. I didn’t have to install the 915resolution package to get the screen resolution correct. The little up-and-down scroll on the trackpad worked. Desktop Effects were on and working without having to do anything (I promptly turned them off—I prefer metacity). Sound worked. The brightness hotkeys worked. I did notice that (considering I have 1 GB of RAM on my Eee) the live session took a really long time to load up… even though it was snappy once loaded up. That first part with the little dots after vmlinuz took at least two minutes.

So I erased all four Xandros partitions and made one 4-GB ext2 partition with no swap. Then I installed Ubuntu on it and rebooted. The reboot took a really long time. With Xandros, I was used to getting to a working desktop within 30 seconds of pressing the power button. Ubuntu took about a minute and a half. That was to be expected, though.

What wasn’t to be expected was how difficult wireless was to set up. First of all, pretty much all guides for Ubuntu on the Eee tell you to install build-essential and compile madwifi drivers to get wireless. They tell you all you need to do is reboot and wireless should be working. Not so on my Eee. The only thing I could do to get wireless working was to use ndiswrapper.

Also, there are various tweaks to get the boot time faster. I’ve tried all of them, and I swear the boot time is slower now. One of the tweaks can’t even be done—it refers to files that don’t exist (the one where you move some files in /etc/rc.2 somewhere).

I can’t get the sound hotkeys to work, and aumix has no effect on the volume, but with a quick test I did against my wife’s Macbook Pro, Skype Beta seems to work just fine (again, the Wikis are wrong—they say the microphone doesn’t work without some config file tweak).

I may reinstall just to get a fresh start and not bother with any of those boot-time tweaks. Is it worth all this trouble? I’m not sure. Maybe I’ll go back to Xandros eventually, but as someone who’s used Ubuntu for the past three years, I have to at least give Ubuntu on the Eee an honest shot. My guess is that by Ubuntu 8.10, the Ubuntu developers will have made Ubuntu a bit more polished for the Eee.